Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Rosemary, a corruption of the Latin name Rosmarinus (" sea dew"), applied to a genus of Labiatae (q.v.), containing only a single species, R. officinalis, from its glaucous surface. It is a native of Southern Europe, and has narrow revolute leaves, a purplish bilabiate calyx, pale blue corolla, and only two stamens. Its fragrant, slightly stimulant character caused it to be formerly considered good for headache or failing memory. This is the meaning of Ophelia's "There's rosemary, that's for remembrance," in Hamlet, and of the use of the plant at funerals. It enters into the composition of Hungary water, eau-de-cologne, and other perfumes, and its essential oil renders it useful as a lotion in cases of baldness. It is largely produced in the island of Lesina, in Dalmatia, and exported from Trieste. One hundredweight of the flower-heads yields 24 oz. of oil. It is adulterated with turpentine.