Rosemary is now a salvia, according to RHS
Rosemary has now been reclassified by the RHS, following research that shows it's a salvia
Rosemary is to undergo a change in scientific name after research has shown that it is in fact a salvia.
The plant used to be called Rosmarinus officinalis but will now be called Salvia rosmarinus. Its common name of rosemary stays the same.
Rosemary and salvias have been classified as two entirely separate genera since the plant naming system began in 1753. The stamens of the plants were deemed to be similar but not enough to warrant identifying them as one plant type. That decision has now been changed and will be reflected in the next edition of the RHS Plant Finder.
John David, Head of Horticultural Taxonomy at the RHS said that gardeners would be surprised to learn that rosemary is so closely related to Salvia officinalis, or culinary sage. He added: "It is important that our naming system reflects the latest science otherwise it stands to lose its meaning.
"Understanding plant interactions and therefore their uses, which is reflected in the scientific name they carry, could inspire more people to grow for people and planet. We’re certainly not meddling for meddling’s sake by adopting this name change but reflecting the latest research that could help us in conserving our gardens for the future."
13 issues for £30 when you subscribe
Subscribe to Gardens Illustrated magazine and receive your first 13 issues for £30!
Transform your Garden- Special Edition
Transform Your Garden
This special edition features advice on designing your garden from the world’s top garden designers, including top tips for redesigning your plot or creating a new garden from scratch.
Discover eight inspirational gardens in town and country, and beautiful planting ideas for year-round colour. Learn how to make the most of a small space, how to cope with a slope, and the ten most common mistakes people make, according to professional garden designers, and how to avoid them.
Enjoy insights on everything from paths and parking spaces to wildflowers and water features, so that you can be confident in starting to create the garden of your dreams.
Just £9.99 inc UK p&p
Gardens of the Globe
From botanical wonders in Australia to tranquil havens closer to home in Ireland, let this guide help you to discover some of the most glorious gardens around the world