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Santolina rosmarinifolia - L.

Common Name Holy Flax
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 6-10
Known Hazards The bruised leaves have been known to cause a severe rash on sensitive skins[182].
Habitats Sandy stony places and dry rocks from the lowland to the mountains.
Range S.W. Europe.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Santolina rosmarinifolia Holy Flax


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Santolina rosmarinifolia Holy Flax
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Stan_Shebs

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Santolina rosmarinifolia is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 7. It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

S. virens.

Habitats

 Hedge; South Wall. In.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Leaves
Edible Uses: Condiment  Drink  Tea

Holy Flax leaves are added to savoury Mediterranean dishes and to cocktails to add an olive-like flavour. Small quantities set off sweet dishes with the olive flavour. The flowering parts are used in herbal tea.

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Hedge  Hedge

Can be grown as a low formal hedge and used as an edging plant[200]. The plant is very tolerant of shearing[200]. Perennial groundcover for zone 2 firebreaks. The US government has created a system of firebreaks for areas prone to wildfires, theses are separated into concentric zones surrounding buildings. Zone 2 is the second away from the house. These low-level groundcovers provide little fuel.

Special Uses

Ground Cover  Hedge  Hedge  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Does not require a rich soil and dislikes wet conditions around the roots[200]. Prefers a light sandy soil in full sun[200]. Established plants are drought tolerant[200], growing well in a hot dry soil[190]. Plants grow well in the cracks of a south-facing wall that contains pockets of soil[K]. This species is not very frost tolerant and is only hardy in the milder areas of Britain[11]. This species is often confused in gardens with S. pinnata neopolitanum[1]. There are some named forms, selected for their ornamental value[29, 200]. The flowers smell vile[190]. Tolerates shearing so long as this is not done at times of low resistance (winter?)[200]. Plants can be cut back hard in spring to maintain their form[200]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Heat zone: 9-6. The cultivar ‘Lemon Fizz’ and the dwarf cultivar S. rosmarinifolia subsp. rosmarinifolia 'Primrose Gem' have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. Does not require pre-treatment[113]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe side shoots, 5 - 8 cm, July/August in a frame. Roots within 2 weeks. High percentage[78]. Division in spring or autumn[111]. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer. Layering.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Holy Flax, Wadi Tops, Olive Herb. Manzanilla Blanca.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Europe including Belgium, France, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, UK. Australia. Native to southwestern Europe.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Achillea santolina Perennial0.3 -  LMHNDM011
Santolina chamaecyparissusCotton LavenderShrub0.6 6-9 FLMNDM223
Santolina pinnata neopolitana Shrub0.6 6-9  LMNDM003

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

11200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

   Sep 16 2014 12:00AM

I have used the leaves of this plant in salads and on pizza for the light olive flavour.

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