Herb: Holy Flax

Latin name: Santolina rosmarinifolia

Synonyms: Santolina virens, Santolina viridis

Family: Compositae

Description of the plant:


50 cm
(1 foot)

July to


Habitat of Holy Flax:

Sandy stony places and dry rocks from the lowland to the mountains.

Other uses of the herb:

Can be grown as a low formal hedge and used as an edging plant. The plant is very tolerant of shearing.

Propagation of Holy Flax:

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. Does not require pre-treatment. 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. Division in spring or autumn. 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.

Cultivation of the herb:

Sandy stony places and dry rocks from the lowland to the mountains.

Medicinal use of Holy Flax:

None known

Known hazards of Santolina rosmarinifolia:

The bruised leaves have been known to cause a severe rash on sensitive skins.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.