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  • Waterwise Gardening | David Salman

The Joy of Growing Cold Hardy Rosemary

This Mediterranean native shrub is beloved for its invigorating scent and flavorful culinary use. And what could be better than growing your own plants in our high elevation gardens? David has spent many years collecting and growing rosemary, always with the goal of finding cold-hardy forms that would grow in Santa Fe. This spring, we will be offering 4 different cold-hardy cultivars of Rosmarinus officinalis that grow successfully in the Santa Fe area. Our offerings include;


Rosmarinus officinalis 'Alcalde Cold Hardy’ - This is an heirloom variety from the mountain town of Penasco, NM. It was brought to my attention by Charles Martin, a research horticulturist at the Sustainable Agriculture Science Center in Alcalde, NM about 15 years ago. Charles kindly gifted me a couple of plants for me to propagate. This unusual cultivar of rosemary has large pale blue flowers, wide, aromatic leaves and an upright growth habit.


Rosmarinus officinalis 'Santa Fe Dark Blue’ - Here is a dark blue flowering selection of Rosemary found growing in a Santa Fe landscape with very fragrant, thin, mid-green leaves. The plant has a nice, rounded, up-right growth habit and is a profuse bloomer.


Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Super Arp’ - This plant is grown from cuttings David originally collected in the summer of 2012. That previous winter we experienced the infamous 2011 arctic express that swept across NM. It dropped the temperature in Santa Fe to -18F one night. There was a nearby apartment complex from our greenhouse landscaped with quite a number of large established plants of Rosemary 'Arp'. The original cuttings for ‘Super Arp’ were taken from the lone plant that survived the cold of the previous winter.


Rosmarinus officinalis ‘T or C Extra Strong’ - Truth or Consequences, NM (formally Hot Springs, NM) seems to be an ideal place for rosemary. Various cultivars have been planted there over a very long time. Now, Rosemary has naturalized in the town by reseeding itself. Looking carefully, there can be seen many different variations of the plant that have resulted from honeybee cross-pollination. David collected cuttings from one plant with nice true blue flowers and foliage that is oily to the touch and delightfully strong scented.

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