Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: False Rosemary, Short-leaved Rosemary
Conradina canescens

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Conradina (kon-rad-EYE-na) (Info)
Species: canescens (kan-ESS-kens) (Info)

Synonym:Conradina brevifolia
Synonym:Calamintha canescens
Synonym:Conradina puberula

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

3 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From woody stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By lilwren
Thumbnail #1 of Conradina canescens by lilwren

By lilwren
Thumbnail #2 of Conradina canescens by lilwren


2 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Fires_in_motion On Nov 13, 2014, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is such a cool plant. A super-silvery, compact but lanky shrub native to sandy areas of the U.S. Gulf coast. The leaves are certainly unexciting, shapewise, as they resemble little bluish-silver grains of rice, but the overall habit of the plant is charming. It's kind of like a natural bonsai; a small, gnarled blue juniper or conifer of some sort, to be exact. Mine flowers prolifically and has a wonderful smell, unlike the nasty smell of rosemary. And it relishes heat, unlike lavender. Just give it a fairly sandy soil mix in full sun and forget about it.

Today I read that it secretes monoterpenes, which are chemicals that inhibit growth of neighboring plants. (Some coral reef poylps do basically this same thing, probably with different chemicals, to prevent others from growing near them.) Read this article titled "Chemical inhibition of fire-prone grasses by fire-sensitive shrub, Conradina canescens" -
I guess that would explain how such a small, dainty plant can eke out an existence in the brutally competitive wild. I'm not sure if the monoterpenes repel insect pests / animals / etc., or if they only work on other plants.

Anyway, the New Orleans Botanical Garden planted this species in spring 2014 if you want to go see one in the ground. (Two were planted, but as of this writing, one of them looks like it has kicked the bucket.)

If you like this plant, here's another native plant you might like in terms of appearance, flowers, and cultivation: Kalmia hirsuta

Positive NativePlantFan9 On Nov 22, 2004, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

False Rosemary or Short-leaved Rosemary is native to the fields, dunes and scrub and scrubby areas and sites scattered from central and south-central Florida northwestward through the Panhandle to Alabama and Mississppi in scattered areas. It is a shrubby wildflower that looks similar to Largeflower False Rosemary (see my comment on it), which is endemic to rare Florida Scrub, dunes and open, sandy, sunny scrubby sites and sand pine scrub on the east coast of Florida; however, Largeflower False Rosemary is usually not as tall as this species in shrubby habit although it, too, is shrubby and scrubby. This species is also not as spreading as Largeflower False Rosemary.

Neutral TamiMcNally On Jun 15, 2004, TamiMcNally from Lake Placid, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

FL - endangered


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Bokeelia, Florida
Gulf Breeze, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Orlando, Florida (3 reports)
Vacherie, Louisiana

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