Santolina rosmarinifolia - L.
Common Name Holy Flax
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 6-9
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  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

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Santolina rosmarinifolia Holy Flax
Santolina rosmarinifolia Holy Flax
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).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

S. virens. S. viridis.

 Hedge; South Wall. In.
Edible Uses
None known
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


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].
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].
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
Found In
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


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Botanical References
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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.
Santolina rosmarinifolia - The Olive Herb
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Subject : Santolina rosmarinifolia  

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