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Products > Rosmarinus officinalis Irene ['Renzels']
 
Rosmarinus officinalis Irene ['Renzels'] - Trailing Blue Rosemary
   
Image of Rosmarinus officinalis Irene ['Renzels']
 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae) (Mints)
Origin: Mediterranean (Europe)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Blue Violet
Bloomtime: Winter/Spring
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Synonyms: [Salvia rosmarinus]
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20° F
Rosmarinus officinalis Irene ['Renzels'] - (Trailing Blue Rosemary) - A semi-prostrate spreading evergreen shrub to 2 to 3 feet tall by 6-8 feet wide with bright green foliage and blue-violet flowers in late winter through early spring with sporadic bloom year-round. This prostrate rosemary has been touted as a breakthrough in the cultivated rosemary varieties because of its brilliant blue-violet floral color and greener foliage.

Plant in full sun. As with other Rosemary it is resistant to deer and rabbit predation, tolerant to salt spray, alkaline soils and drought. Hardy to 15°F. Cascades beautifully over walls with a hummocky growth habit.

This plant was discovered in 1991 by Phil Johnson who found it growing in the crack of a dry stack retaining wall he had built in 1984 in the garden of a client in Orinda, Calif. Phil named the plant for his Black Labrador Princess Irene, who was also known as Renzels, using 'Renzels' as the patented cultivar name and Irene as a marketing name. On May 2, 1995 is was granted US Plant Patent PP9,124, which expired in April 2014. We were first licensed to grow this plant in 1996 and will continue to grow this very nice rosemary cultivar, though it is no longer protected by a patent. When we first grew this plant it was thought to be a low ground hugging groundcover variety but in time have noted it getting taller - still very nice as a groundcover but not as low as some others such as the paler blue flowered Rosmarinus 'Lockwood de Forest'.

Rosemary is native to the dry, rocky areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. The name for the genus comes from the Latin name first published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 for this aromatic shrub means sea dew, derived from the Latin words 'ros' meaning "dew" and 'marinus' meaning of the sea." The specific epithet is the Latin word that signifies a plant sold as a medicinal herb.

Recent DNA analysis now shows the genus Rosmarinus to be fit squarely into the massive Salvia genus, which already has about 1,000 species. Since the specific epithet "officinalis" is already used in the genus Salvia, the new name for our common rosemary is now officially Salvia rosmarinus. Joining Rosmarinus in this move to Salvia is Perovskia and the little know genera Dorystaechas, Meriandra and Zhumeria. This change was published in an article by University of Nebraska biologist Bryan T. Drew, Jesús González-Gallegos, Chun-Lei Xiang, Ricardo Kriebel, Chloe Drummond, Jay Walker and Kenneth Sytsma titled "Salvia united: The greatest good for the greatest number" in the February 2017 issue of Taxon 66(1):133-145. For the sake of our customers and ourselves, we continue to list the Rosemary in the genus Rosmarinus! 

This information about Rosmarinus officinalis Irene ['Renzels'] displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.

 
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