"As for rosemary I lette it runne all over my garden walls, not onlie because my bees love it, but because it is the herb sacred to remembrance and to friendship, whence a sprig of it hath a dumb language"
--Sir Thomas Moore

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(Rosmarinus officinalis)

By long tradition the "herb of remembrance" (see Ophelia's mad scene in Hamlet), its gilded branches were once carried at weddings--and it was customary to lay rosemary on the coffin at a funeral.

It also was regarded as a preventive to plague. Thus, when the plague swept through England in 1603, carrying with it over 1100 people each week in London alone, the price of rosemary skyrocketed--from 12 pence for an armful of it...to 72 pence for a tiny bunch.

It's one of the strongest flavored herbs--as anyone knows who grows it. We had shoulder-high hedges of it around our villa in Casablanca--and after a spirited match of croquet on the lawn, we'd all have to go to the beach to air out for a couple hours. Use as a flavoring in moderation.