Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - August 13, 2012

From: Hartwell, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of plant that resembles rosemary in Georgia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, I am an herbalist, but have been unable to identify this plant and it's driving me nuts since I cannot find any information on it. I live in NE Ga and have a plant that grows here that looks like rosemary it grows wild in very unkempt yards or fields, it also has a smell like rosemary, but with a slightly sweeter smell. It only grows in one stalk (as opposed to a bush like plant), but the leaves are slightly bigger and a lot denser than that of rosemary. I have a friend that lives south of me in Madison Ga who has a farm and has fields of it..we would like to know exactly what it is and if we can use it. Thank you!

ANSWER:

You may have stumped Mr. Smarty Plants because I can't find anything that exactly matches your description.   Here are some suggestions, however:

Eupatorium capillifolium (Dog fennel) has foliage that looks similar to rosemary, but the scent of crushed leaves is described as "rather unpleasant."  Here are photos and more information from Plants of Southern New Jersey and North Carolina State University.

 Conyza canadensis (Canadian horseweed) looks somewhat like rosemary but is not described as smelling like rosemary.  Here are photos and more information from Illinois Wildflowers.

Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (Narrowleaf mountain mint) has foliage that looks like rosemary; however, it doesn't tend to grow as a single stalk.  Its leaves do have a pleasant minty scent.  Here are photos and more information from Illinois Wildflowers and Connecticut Botanical Society.

Pycnanthemum virginianum (Virginia mountain mint) with rosemary-like foliage that is mint scented.  Here are photos and more information from Illinois Wildflowers and Plants of Wisconsin.

Hedeoma hispida (Rough false pennyroyal) has foliage that looks somewhat like rosemary and is fragrant.  Here are more photos and information from Plants of Wisconsin and Southeastern Flora.

Hedeoma pulegioides (American false pennyroyal) looks a bit like rosemary, although the plants are are only about a foot tall. They have a strong, pleasant scent.  Here are photos and more information from Illinois Wildflowers and Purdue Horticulture Service.

If none of these is the plant you are seeing, take photos and then visit our Plant Identification page to find links to plant identification forums that accept photos of plants for identification.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Canadian horseweed
Conyza canadensis

Rough false pennyroyal
Hedeoma hispida

Narrowleaf mountain mint
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium

Virginia mountain mint
Pycnanthemum virginianum

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification--vine with spiny pods in California
July 05, 2010 - I came across a vine while hiking in Orange County, CA. It didn't have flowers on it but has 3 or 4 inch spiny pods. What is it? The vine itself looks similar to a Morning Glory vine.
view the full question and answer

Identification of alien-looking plant
June 06, 2013 - I have a plant that grows 4-5 feet tall, it has pretty "alien looking" flowers with "pods" under flower, and marijuana looking leaves and smell. My neighbor gave me a start last year, and it has ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of a potted vine in California
October 04, 2011 - Hi, we have a tropical vine growing in a pot on our patio that my wife bought at the county fair. We've had it for a couple of years but I just noticed it now has a sort of pear like fruit on it. It ...
view the full question and answer

Mystery fast-growing plant with the honeysuckle
April 05, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, We have a section of honeysuckle, then a section of this 4 foot, bright, hairy green leafed, thorn bush that seems to be blooming/growing faster than the honeysuckle. Then a sectio...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant with bell-shaped flowers
January 03, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am in need of a plant name to purchase. It is absolutely beautiful. The plant has light green leaves, the flowers that bloom look like bells (of course they hang upside down...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.