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Info Sheet PDF
Hill Hardy Upright Rosemary

Rosmarinus officinalis 'Hill Hardy'

Mature Height*: 

3 to 4 feet

Mature Width*: 

3 to 4 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone Range:


Hardy to: 


Water Requirements: 

medium to dry water requirements

Shade Requirements:

full sun to part shade

Native to:

Origin and Adaptability:

Originating from the sun-drenched hillsides of the Mediterranean, Rosmarinus officinalis 'Hill Hardy', commonly known as Hill Hardy Upright Rosemary or Madalene Hill Rosemary, showcases remarkable adaptability to a variety of climates. Evolving in rocky, well-drained soils and basking in the warm Mediterranean sun, this resilient herb thrives in landscapes with similar conditions, providing landscape architects with a versatile and enduring design element.

Architectural Form and Foliage:

The Hill Hardy Upright Rosemary presents an architectural elegance with its slender, upright growth habit and aromatic needle-like foliage. Landscape architects can utilize its compact form as a striking focal point, a fragrant border plant, or as a functional addition to herb gardens, infusing outdoor spaces with a sense of
Mediterranean charm and culinary delight.

Floral Display and Growth Speed:

While primarily valued for its aromatic foliage and culinary uses, the Hill Hardy Upright Rosemary also produces delicate, lavender-blue flowers in spring, adding a subtle yet enchanting touch to the landscape. With a moderate growth rate, this herb ensures a harmonious balance between prompt establishment and long-term manageability, allowing designers to create landscapes that mature gracefully over time.

Light and Water Requirements:

Thriving under full sun exposure, the Hill Hardy Upright Rosemary reaches its full potential when provided with ample sunlight throughout the day. This herb is well-suited for landscapes with bright, sunny conditions, making it an ideal choice for Mediterranean-inspired gardens or xeriscape designs. With its drought-tolerant nature, minimal watering is required once established, making it a low-maintenance and water-wise option for landscape architects.

Wildlife Support and Biodiversity:

While primarily cultivated for culinary and ornamental purposes, the Hill Hardy Upright Rosemary also offers support to local biodiversity by attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies with its fragrant flowers. Its evergreen foliage provides year-round shelter for beneficial insects, further enhancing its ecological value and contributing to the overall health of the garden ecosystem.

Cultural Significance and Local Context:

Rosmarinus officinalis, or common rosemary, holds significant cultural symbolism throughout the Mediterranean region, where it has been cherished for centuries for its culinary, medicinal, and aromatic properties. Revered for its association with remembrance and fidelity, it has been used in various cultural traditions, rituals, and folklore. Landscape architects can draw inspiration from its rich cultural heritage to create designs that evoke a sense of nostalgia, tradition, and sensory delight.

Challenges and Considerations:

While generally low-maintenance, landscape architects should consider the mature size and growth habit of the Hill Hardy Upright Rosemary when planning their designs. Regular pruning helps maintain its compact form and encourages vigorous growth and flowering. Additionally, ensuring well-drained soil and adequate air circulation around the plant helps prevent issues such as root rot and fungal diseases.

Integration into Landscape Designs:

With its aromatic foliage, delicate flowers, cultural significance, and adaptability to diverse conditions, the Hill Hardy Upright Rosemary seamlessly integrates into a variety of landscape designs. Designers can use it to create Mediterranean-style herb gardens, as a fragrant border along pathways, or as a culinary herb in edible landscapes, enriching the overall sensory experience and cultural depth of the design.

*Height and width estimated for growth in the Tucson, AZ area. True sizes may vary.

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