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Small perennial evergreen shrub (Rosmarinus officinalis) of the mint family whose leaves are used to flavour a wide variety of food. The bush grows 3–7.5 ft (1–2.3 m) tall and has short linear leaves that resemble curved pine needles, dark green and shiny above, white beneath. Bluish flowers grow in small clusters. Bees are particularly fond of rosemary. In ancient times rosemary was believed to strengthen memory; in literature and folklore it is an emblem of remembrance and fidelity. Native to the Mediterranean, it has been naturalized throughout Europe and temperate America.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on rosemary, visit Britannica.com.