CFI Greenhouse Plant of the Month: Rosemary

The plant of this month at the CFI Greenhouse is rosemary (scientific name Salvia rosmarinus). Head over to the Greenhouse to see the rosemary plants growing there and explore the sprawling greenery on display.

Take a peek around your garden, and you’d be surprised with the depth of possibility infused into every shoot and flower bud. Throughout human history, plants have been integral to culture in ways that extend beyond a food source, with many applications in food, medicine, and symbolism that date back millenia. One such example is the humble yet versatile plant rosemary, a fragrant herb with delicate purple flowers and thin leaves. Along with its frequent use in cooking, rosemary has long been hailed for its varying medicinal properties. It is for this therapeutic utility that we are celebrating rosemary this week at the CFI Greenhouse.

In terms of its culinary purposes, rosemary has uses dating back to 500 BCE. Fresh sprigs of rosemary are often used as a seasoning in dishes such as soups, casseroles, and salads. The medicinal benefits are the reason why the plant is a common addition to meals – rosemary is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, along with having traditionally been used to treat indigestion. Scientific research has even proven that the aroma of rosemary can improve focus and concentration, enhancing the benefits of this plant.

The mythological and symbolic presence of rosemary is also rich. In Greek mythology, rosemary was associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, while the herb symbolised good luck, keen memory, and youthfulness, according to various European and American traditional beliefs. Some of the medicinal properties of rosemary that have been implemented through trial and error in traditional medicine are now, in fact, being proven to a certain extent by modern scientific research, such as in the treatment of digestive issues or improving attention.

At Woodstock, we strive to engage with the surrounding environment through a holistic and multidisciplinary approach. While the celebration of such a simple plant may seem trite, the beauty of nature is in the intricacy and complexity at the micro and macro levels. The recognition of rosemary for its utility and cultural significance can also be extrapolated, along these interwoven threads, to the fundamental principles of the Greenhouse, which is committed to respecting and cultivating plant life for medicinal, scientific, and alimentary purposes.

Asha is Editor-in-Chief.

Edited by Aryaman.

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