Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Rosmarinus officinalis L.

Hardy evergreen shrub with downy shoots and opposite, narrow, lance-shaped leaves, dark above and pale beneath.  The pale violet flowers are borne in the leaf axils of the previous years growth.  To 2m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

A culinary and medicinal herb from ancient times.  ‘Rosemary.  Rosmarinus.  This shrub grows larger in England than in most countries; the leaves are hoary underneath and a dark green above, and the flowers a pale purple.  It grows wild in Spain & ye southern parts of France; but it is planted here in gardens flowering in April.  It is accounted good for affections of the head & nerves.  It strengthens ye sight and memory, and opens obstructions of the liver and spleen.  The dried herb burnt is good to sweeten the air.  Official preparations are, Conserva anthos, Aqua Reginae Hungariae, the Chymical Oil and fix’d salt.’  [Blackwell pl.159/1837].

History at Camden Park

Rosmarinus officinalis was marked with a ‘c’, indicating grown at Camden, in an 1836 Loddiges’ catalogue held at Camden Park [CPA].  Certainly grown in the gardens from at least this time, probably earlier.


Published Feb 15, 2009 - 04:01 PM | Last updated Jul 25, 2010 - 03:26 PM

Depicted is a shoot of herb Rosemary with grey-green leaves and mauve flowers.  Blackwell pl.159, 1737.

Rosmarinus officinalis L. | Blackwell pl.159/1837 | BHL

Family Lamiaceae
Region of origin


Common Name


Name in the Camden Park Record

Rosmarinus officinalis 

Confidence level high