Wild Rosemary

Olearia axillaris

Wild Rosemary (also called Coastal Daisy Bush) is an extremely hardy native shrub bearing fragrant edible foliage, and is known among some Indigenous communities for its insect repelling properties. The name “Wild Rosemary” was given by European colonists who noted the plant’s resemblance to English rosemary in both appearance and taste. This species can be found in coastal vegetation and on rocky coastal slopes around Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania.

Much like exotic rosemary, Wild Rosemary offers a warm and grassy smell and flavour, and can be used both fresh and dried in a variety of savory and sweet dishes. Cream-coloured flowers may bloom from Summer through to late Autumn — these are also edible, and may serve as an attractive garnish for aesthetic platings.

To harvest, cut off whole rosemary stalks. You can use the sprigs fresh or chop the leaves and dry them for later use. Remember that the aroma and flavour of bushfood herbs will fade over time, so try to use them up as soon as you can.

Wild Rosemary prefers full sun and a light to medium well-drained soil. It is salt tolerant and well-suited to plantings in coastal areas, as it’s resilient to strong winds and sandy soils with few nutrients. However, it cannot tolerate extremely cold or wet conditions.

This is a bushy foliage bushfood plant with attractive silvery foliage that can reach heights of up to 2 metres. It is an excellent choice for low-maintenance, water-wise group plantings like edible hedges or verge gardens.

How often should I prune my Wild Rosemary?
This native herb responds well to pruning, so feel free to prune (or harvest) as needed throughout the year. If appearance is your main concern, have an idea in mind of how you want your plant to look, and prune when needed as the plant grows. It’s best to prune off slightly more than desired, as this species regrows quickly.

Can I grow Wild Rosemary indoors?
We don’t recommend indoor growing for grey-foliaged plants such as the Wild Rosemary, as they tend to need full-sun conditions to ensure strong and robust growth. If you do wish to cultivate this species indoors, we suggest using a full-spectrum grow lamp along with high-quality premium potting mix to give your plant the best chance of success. Finally, ensure you don’t overwater, as Wild Rosemary roots will rot if conditions are too wet.

What pests are Wild Rosemary susceptible to?
Practically none! Wild Rosemary is more vulnerable to water-logged soils in Winter and insufficient sunlight. Any pests infestations you may notice could be a sign that the plant is already unhealthy.

Quick care

Suitable for full-sun

Suitable for pots

Height 1-2m
Width 1-2m

Tolerates drought

Tolerates sandy soils

Tolerates salt

Attracts bees & insects

Suitable for gaps

Suitable for hedging/screening

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