hist-brewing: Marsh rosemary plants

Steven Thomas fabricus at hvi.net
Sun Jul 13 08:02:50 PDT 2003

    The Marsh rosemary plants from Siskiyou arrive as miniature shrubs, 
about 4 inches high, spreading about 8 inches.
    I'm not surprised that the seeds collected from the wild didn't do 
well.  It is little appreciated how much selection is involved in getting 
seeds to come up reliably under cultivation.  Plants in the wild can be 
very patient waiting for the optimal time to sprout, sometimes for 
years.  A plant like marsh rosemary that does well spreading vegetatively 
can afford to be quite patient.
    For matching the desired growing conditions, I have made an artificial 
bog.  A steel tank buried flush with the yard, strrofoam flotation 
supporting a peatmoss island, some goldfish to eat the mosquito larvae; the 
marsh rosemary on the high points of the island, the bog myrtle with its 
roots trailing in the water.  In the wild, bog myrtle is easiest collected 
from a boat, as it grows right at the wet edge of the bog; marsh rosemary 
(at least the labrador tea version) can be collected dryshod, as it grows 
at the dryer rim of the bog against the woods.
             --Steve Thomas

>I had been looking for Marsh Rosemary as well - and eventually found seeds
>on the Internet from Siberia - but alas, they did not germinate.  I looked
>for Steve's source and found it with this link:
>I wondered if it comes as a small scrub - or seeds?  Sounds like a little
> > ----
> >
> >    In fulfillment of a quest of years, I have finally gotten some marsh
> > rosemary plants, from Siskiyou Rare Plant Nursery.  It is listed under the
> > old botanical name, Ledum palustre ssp. decumbens.  I don't know for sure,
> > but I suspect the plants are descended from seeds brought back from
> > northern China by a collecting expedition.  The plants are the true
> > decumbent (sprawling) tundra form, as opposed ot the shrubby Labrador tea
> > form.  The leaf margins are revolute (rolled under) though not so
> > pronounced as in the european form that earns the 'rosemary' name.  They
> > are apparently being sold as rock garden plants.
> >
> >             --Steve Thomas

More information about the hist-brewing mailing list