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Hoary Rosemary Mint, Desert Rosemary
Poliomintha incana


The gypsum hills, sandy or eroded slopes at 4000 to 5000 feet in Texas west of the Pecos River, Northern Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico provide a home for the hoary rosemary mint. The surfaces of this subshrub are densely covered with silvery, velvety pubescence, providing a background for the pale purplish or bluish flowers among its needle-like leaves. This is a much-branched, aromatic evergreen shrub which should be used more in cultivation as an ornamental in desert landscapes, perhaps near walkways where its fragrance may be enjoyed. The Hopi Indians ate the leaves, raw or boiled, or dried them for winter use. Its flowers are also used for seasoning and a pleasant tea is sometimes made from its leaves.

Plant Habit or Use: small shrub

Exposure: sun

Flower Color: pale purple or blue, or white with purple dots

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: nutlets

Height: 3 to 4 feet

Width: 4 to 6 feet

Plant Character: deciduous

Heat Tolerance: high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: alkaline

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7

Additional Comments:

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