Westringia fruticosa

Coast Rosemary

Other than both belonging in the Lamiaceae (Labiatae) family, a family made up of upwards of 7,200 species this plant is not related to the common rosemary.  The herb is found in the Mediteranean while this evergreen shrub is native to Australia.  Departing from showy, accent plants for the plant of the week this week Coast Rosemary is a plant that can fill many roles.  Left alone it can grow 3-6 feet tall and 5-10 feet wide with an attractive fine texture and fairly wispy appearance.  Extremely tough and resilient it is great as a background and barrier plant in addition to being used to contrast with other plants for it’s texture and gray-green foliage color or simply as an attractive filler.  It can also be clipped and can form attractive formal hedges.  While the flowers are not overly showy neither are they inconsequential.  Always light in color they will run the gamut from white, to sky blue, and even a very, very light violet.  Perhaps not as noticeable as other plants in the industry, evergreen shrubs like Coast Rosemary are incredibly important and add a lot to any yard or garden.