Rosemary is an evergreen plant in the mint family. It’s leaves are typically used to flavor foods.
The perennial herb is native to the Mediterranean region but has since naturalized across Europe.
Gardeners usually grow it in warm climates. If living in cold areas, you can grow it in pots and keep them indoors during winter.
What Does A Rosemary Plant Look Like?
The plant grows to a height of 1 meter, but some varieties can go up to 6 meters tall. Their dark green and shiny leaves are linear and look like tiny curved pine needles around 2-4cm long.
Rosemary produces small bluish flowers borne in axillary clusters.
So, are there other plants out there that fit or resemble this description? Let’s find out.
Plants That Look Similar To Rosemary
Below is a list of Rosemary look-alike plants.
1. Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
Russian sage is a flowering herbaceous perennial and also a woody subshrub. It’s native to South Western and Central Asia.
It has silvery green, fragrant foliage with flowers that bloom into a cloud of blue that almost obscure the leaves beginning mid-summer. Additionally, their long flower panicles turn increasingly brilliant as they spread out.
The Russian Sage has an upright growth habit growing to a maximum of 1.2 meters. The plant is a Rosemary look alike because of its finely cut grey-green leaves.
In full bloom, Russian Sage resembles a lavender-blue haze. You can use the plant as a ground cover for open areas.
Growing Russian Sage
The ideal growing conditions for Russian Sage include full sunlight, well-draining fertile soils and warm temperatures. The plant tolerates a wide range of pH.
You can grow it from seed in containers. It takes about four months to germinate.
Plant Russian Sage in early spring, ensuring a spacing of 2-3 feet apart.
Russian Sage is drought tolerant but requires regular watering, especially during dry spells. This helps them establish and grow. For best results, use gravel as mulch which controls moisture evaporation.
2. Lavender (Lavender angustifolia)
Also a member of the mint family, lavender adds to the list of plants that look like Rosemary. It’s a bushy and strong-scented perennial native to the Mediterranean.
It is evergreen throughout the year in warm climates with its grey-green foliage. It has whorls of tiny flowers that make it attractive.
Not all Lavenders are purple; some come in different colors. Some of their hybrids are violet-blue, rose, yellow, white, and pale pink.
Lavender Angustifolia is the most commonly grown lavender species. Apart from being cultivated in gardens worldwide, you will also find it in the wild, growing in various habitats.
You can grow lavender in gardens or pots. Critical conditions for its successful growth are full sun and well-drained soil. It thrives as a perennial in arid climates but is generally grown as an annual in humid climates.
To ensure your soil is well-drained, mix it with gravel or sand before planting. Lavender is low maintenance and can do with minimal watering.
You could first plant them in pots before transferring them to your garden. When mature and woody, you can prune the stem to encourage new growth.
3. American Pennyroyal (Hedeoma pulegioides)
The American Pennyroyal is a herbaceous aromatic wildflower native to Eastern North America and a mint family member. It’s a herb that looks like Rosemary, is low growing, and reaches a maximum height of 30cm.
Their slender, erect stems appear hairy and multi-branched. The leaves characterize a mint-like odor with a pungent taste.
They are generally small and thin or rather oblong-oblanceolate in shape with pale blue flowers.
American Pennyroyal begins flowering in mid-summer. The leaves have a smooth margin but few blunt teeth toward their tips.
Growing American Pennyroyal
Naturally, the plant produces by reseeding itself. To cultivate it, various conditions need to be met.
It thrives best in full sun to light shade with dry conditions. The best soil to plant them is loam.
Their preference for moisture is comparatively higher compared to other plants.
The ideal habitat for growing them is barren land with no ground vegetation. This helps reduce competition from taller plants.
4. Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)
Sagebrush is an aromatic shrub in the Asteraceae family. Its natural growing conditions are found in the mountainous habitats of North America.
It’s a coarse, multiple-branched shrub with silvery grey foliage and yellow flowers. The plant grows to a height of 0.5 – 3 meters tall.
When wet, this species produces a spicy fragrance due to its compounds, such as camphor terpenoids and volatile oils. It’s also among the genus of plants with medicinal qualities. The plant is also a look-alike of Rosemary.
If you intend to establish a sagebrush in your garden, ensure to plant it in well-draining soil that has a mix of gritty material. The mixture should be to a depth of at least 20cm.
Pot Sage in a mix of half sand and half perlite for the best results.
The plant is drought tolerant and needs minimal watering once it’s established.
5. Curry Plant (Helichrysum italicum)
It’s native to the Mediterranean, growing on rocky, sandy ground. Their stems are typically woody at the base and can grow to a height of sixty centimeters.
What’s more, they produce a cluster of yellow flowers in summer that retain their color after picking. Curry plant is sometimes used to spice foods.
Growing Curry Plant
You can root curry plants from semi-hardwood cuttings during summer and overwinter them in frost-free conditions. Ensure the soil is well-draining.
It survives in full sun or partial shade. If planting from seeds, ensure you maintain a temperature range of 18-23 degrees Celsius.
The above is a list of plants and herbs that look like Rosemary. Be on the lookout for them the next time you’re doing rounds in the wild or a botanical garden so that you don’t confuse them with Rosemary.
Job Kiniale is a certified crop scientist and gardening enthusiast with a passion to help beginning gardeners navigate their newfound hobby. Let’s talk about plants, backyard ideas, and general gardening advice. Outside work, Job loves spending time with family.