Favorite varieties of Rosemary
- meatn3 Mar 15, 2012 02:41 PM
Usually at the garden centers I just see "rosemary" without a specific variety designated. Once in a while I come across a variety listed as "trailing".
I moved recently and was so excited to have a large bed of rosemary by the front door. The scent is lovely. Unfortunately the flavor - not so good.
I am now looking for a variety which has great flavor and tender leaves which can take heat and humidity in zone 7b.
Would love any suggestions and sources!
btw - 82 degrees today and my daffodils haven't even bloomed yet...
If you can locate it, Pine scented Rosemary (Rosmarius agustifolius) may be jsut what you are looking for. It's leaves are MUCH softer than those of conventional, and the flavor is a lot better. at 7b you may be a little cold for its reccomended zone (some say 7b some 8) but if you cover it when the winter gets really nasty, you should be alright (http://www.mountainvalleygrowers.com/...)
Now you see, Pine-Scented Rosemary is one that I NEVER use for cooking. Why? Because the reason it's called "Pine-Scented" is because that's just what it is - very piney & resinous. Not something I want in my cooking.
Any of the other upright varieties should fit the bill for cooking, but when I'm buying herb plants, I always buy local so I can do a sniff-&-taste. Way too many "mutt" varieties out there these days.
My favorite variety is 'Collingwood Ingram' a rather large, sprawling shrub with beautiful architectural interest--the branches arch out and down, then up again in the most beautiful candelabra shape. It needs room, do not prune it to "fit". It also produces lots of 18" straight shoots perfect for use as BBQ skewers, and is easy to harvest the needles from.
On the West Coast most of the reliable wholesale growers produce it: San Marcos Growers, Native Sons, Suncrest, Monterey Bay, etc, so its easy to find.
Thanks for all the suggestions!
I didn't need to order anything else and didn't want to pay s/h for just one item...
I finally made arrangements to go back to my prior home and dig up the plant I had put in. No idea what variety it is but it is upright, tender, good flavor and stays a very manageable size.
A side note - I'm so glad I hadn't removed the enormous bed of rosemary at my new place yet. I awoke to an odd sound at 4 am the other morning. I turned on the light and noticed that the window screen was gone from an open second story window. So was the cat who conducts kitty patrol from that perch on a regular basis.
I went outside and found the screen and the cat - both had tumbled onto the gabled entryway roof and luckily fell to the side with the rosemary! The cat was dirty and frightened, but uninjured. I spent last night rigging up removable kitty guards on the windows.
So the existing rosemary may not be tender, but it was soft when it mattered!
re: toodie jane
Thanks! It took about 5 days, but he is over his fear of the demon window and back on kitty patrol. I have discovered that they both LOVE chives. This is our first experience with having an elevated deck - so we are working on short venture out doors. My chives are permanent nubs due to the nibbling.
Local herb fest begins tomorrow, so hoping to pick up more chives and catnip!