This half hardy perennial forms an evergreen shrub that has been cultivated throughout time for its lovely fragrance. Rosemary forms a thick, branching shrub, up to 6 ft high. Its leaves are very narrow and grow 1" to 2" long. They are shiny green above and white below. In early summer, Rosemary produces small, two-lipped flowers. Older bushes develop fascinating twisted trunks. There are also creeping forms that are often used as ground covers. Rosemary may be used to flavour vinegar. It will thrive in dry, rocky, limy soil that has very good drainage in a sunny location. On heavy, clay soil, it is more susceptible to damage during harsh winter weather. In cold climates, where it isn't very hardy outside, Rosemary may be grown in pots. Pruning should be done every year as soon as the flowers have faded, so that they have time to make new growth before winter. The shoots should be cut back about two-thirds; if they arent pruned, they will become spindly or bare at the base. Pruning keeps them looking compact and neat. Rosemary does not lose its flavour by long cooking, as many other leaves unfortunately do. The fresh leaves have a more pure fragrance and are therefore preferred whenever available. Use rosemary for fish, meat (especially poultry), but also for vegetables. It is frequently recommended for potatoes and suitable for vegetables fried in olive oil. Rosemary is one of those herbs that are more potent in the dried than in the fresh state (see thyme). Dried rosemary is among the most powerful herbal spices, and care must be taken not to overdose which may result in an disagreeable perfumed odor.