A shrub of dense habit up to 10 ft high, and occasionally more in diameter; branches minutely downy and slightly warted. Leaves linear or linear-lanceolate 1 to 21⁄2 in. long, 3⁄16 to 3⁄8 in. wide; tapering towards both ends, rarely toothed, dark dull green; glabrous on both surfaces. Flowers fragrant, dull greenish white, produced during May and June in short axillary clusters 1⁄2 in. or less long; flower-stalks minutely downy. Fruits blue-black, roundish-oval, 1⁄4 in. long.
Native of Portugal, N. Africa, and of the Mediterranean region as far east as Dalmatia; cultivated in England before 1597. It is a neat, quite hardy evergreen, without any striking features, but easily distinguished from all the rest by its entire, long, narrow leaves.
f. rosmarinifolia (Mill.) Schelle P. rosmarinifolia Mill. – Leaves narrower and smaller than those of the type, 1⁄8 to 3⁄16 in. wide, and of a greyer, rather glaucous shade.