Rosemary Gets A New Name

Our favourite aromatic herb, rosemary, is not Rosmarinus officinalis anymore. According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), latest scientific findings show that the rosemary is actually a sage. Hence, officially—scientifically, as of November last year, Rosmarinus officinalis will now be known as Salvia rosmarinus.

~ Rosemary’s new name is Salvia rosmarinus. ~
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons.

Advancements in science and technology have now made it possible for us to look deeper into, and understand more, the world of plants. A downside to discovering many things about a plant is that it may ultimately lead to something like a plant name change. For a plant that has been called Rosmarinus officinalis since the 18th century, the change to Salvia rosmarinus can be annoying and inconvenient. But I am of the opinion that science, not history, should have the last say on this issue—for how are we going to understand more the world of plants if we do not classify plants properly?

Despite the official, scientific name change, keep calm: we can still call rosemary as rosemary. Rosemary has been its common name throughout history and in everyday garden talk, we can just call it by its common name.

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