Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Never Heard Of It.

The local Hospice charity shops have teamed up with a plant nursery to sell plants at their shops.

I was in Stowmarket so had a look at what they had for sale. Among the common herbs I spotted this

Olive Herb? Never heard of it, but it had to come home with me so I could find out more.

On Wiki it said
Santolina rosmarinifolia, the holy flax, is a species of flowering plant in the daisy family Asteraceae, native to south western Europe. It is a dense, compact evergreen shrub growing to 60 cm (24 in) tall and wide, with narrow, aromatic green leaves and tight yellow composite flower -heads carried on slender stalks above the foliage, in summer.
The specific epithet rosmarinifolia describes the leaves' passing resemblance to those of rosemary, a distantly related group of plants.
In cultivation it is useful as groundcover or as an edging plant for sunny, well-drained situations. It dislikes winter wetness, and can be short-lived. The cultivar ‘Lemon Fizz’ and the dwarf cultivar S. rosmarinifolia subsp. rosmarinifolia 'Primrose Gem' have gained the RHS's Award of Garden Merit
Also known as olive herb or Wadi tops, the leaves of S. rosmarinifolia can be used in Mediterranean dishes and cocktails to add an olive-like flavour.

On an Australian website I found this

Botanical name: Santolina rosmarinifolia

Olive Herb is a cold hardy, perennial, woody, and the bright green leaves that have an intense olive aroma. It adds an interesting, alternative flavour to salads and is a tasty addition to Mediterranean meals, especially when you don’t have any fresh olives to hand.
At the end of February (guess that would be late summer/early Autumn - August/September in this country) Olive Herb develops small yellow button flowers that last long, look pretty and are well suited as a table decoration.
The leaves are the best part of the plant to use for flavouring. The flowers have less licorice flavour so are not suitable for use.
The Olive Herb is a hardy perennial plant and is low maintenance. The flowers don't remain on the plant after they are finished so the plant always looks tidy.
Olive Herb needs a sunny to partially shaded location and makes an attractive edging plant.
We recommend for best results that you feed the Olive Herb every 4 weeks with an organic fertiliser.
Plants grow 30-50cm high.

It also got a mention on a German Nursery website and in the States, and I found this on Youtube........
The lady is explaining about these 'erbs! that she has found for sale on Amazon.

Then I remembered that upstairs on my bookshelves on the landing was The Bible of Herb books - Jekka McVicar's book and of course, there it was.....part of the Cotton Lavender family

Love it when I find out about something I'd never heard of before, even if it is probably just a marketing ploy!........... Olive Herb sounding more useful than Holy Flax.

When labeling this post I discovered that Herbs are not mentioned in the list of labels I've used (except for Basil and Parsley) . Must remedy this as I love growing them and ought to write about others I grow. I was growing and selling herbs even before we moved to the smallholding!

Back Tomorrow


  1. I love the idea of 'discovering' a new herb and then finding out all the information. Herbs stand by my back door and rosemarys are scattered through the garden. But my favourite is the bronze feathery fennel, not for flavouring but as a backing plant.

  2. How strange and hopefully, usefully different.

  3. It's a new one on me, too. How unusual to have a sort of rosemary/olive combination on one plant - useful in Mediterranean dishes!

  4. Fascinating. I've never come across this before either. Is it very aromatic? I wonder what flavour it imparts.

  5. I have never come across this before so it is a joy to learn something new.

  6. Sounds really interesting, I thinking it would be good mixed in a bread dough, I do love Olive bread.

  7. I had never herd of it either. I like to learn something new every day and this is todays 'new thing'

  8. I love to learn more about herns,they are so powerfull☺

  9. Based on my own experience and many of the other commenters, this is a new one for most of us. But fun to learn more about it.

  10. It's lovely to learn, or discover, something new! I have a vague recollection of hearing Holy Flax somewhere, but it is buried deep in the recesses of my mind! Unless I am thinking of Holy Basil?

  11. I have never heard of this before either. So nice to learn something new.

    God bless.

  12. Never heard of that herb. It does look like something that would be good for Mediterranean dishes.

  13. I remember having Cotton Lavender in my last garden but never used it in cooking.