Slight resemblance to :
Garden Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) which belongs to the same Mint & Dead-Nettle Family (Lamiaceae) and also has azure-blue coloured flowers (but in a long narrow flowering spike) and narrow leaves, but which smells of lavender (as used as a perfume in some soaps) rather than of rosemary (which smells of Italian cooking).
Uniquely identifiable characteristics
Distinguishing Feature :
No relation to : Bog Rosemary (Andromeda polifolia) [a plant with similar name which belongs to a totally different Family, that of Heather (Ericaceae)].
Rosemary is the only plant in the Rosemarinus genus that occurs naturalised in the UK.
Rosemary can exist as two or more Chemotypes, where exactly the same species of plant can produce differing secondary metabolites, which might depend upon the region it is growing in or on environmental factors.
DITERPENOIDS & TERPENOIDS
The evergreen leaves are used as flavouring in cooking, especially in Italian dishes, and in stuffings. They have a somewhat bitter and astringent taste and are strongly aromatic, containing Caffeic Acid, Caffeic Acid, Ursolic Acid, Betulinic Acid and two characteristic diterpenoids
The essential oil also contains several aromatic Terpenoids, which in order of concentration are
(+)-α-Pinene, Eucalyptol (aka
1,8-Cineole), Camphor, (+)-Verbenone, Borneol and (+)-Bornyl Acetate which taken together constitute 80% of the total and represent the major aroma compounds within the essential oil derived from the flowers themselves.