Rosemary Tattoo Meaning, Designs & Ideas

Images of rosemary–or Salvia rosmarinus in Latin–make a lovely choice for a tattoo. This plant can represent friendship as well as love and loyalty. Rosemary is also symbolic of the goddess Aphrodite. Some people associate rosemary with Christmas or other holidays and it has also been viewed as a symbol of good luck. 

In this article, we will look at several different interpretations of a rosemary tattoo.

All About Rosemary

Rosemary is an evergreen plant that was traditionally grown in the Mediterranean region, including northern Africa and southern Europe. It was not grown in North America until the early 1600s. 

It is a highly aromatic plant that has green and white leaves resembling needles. When it flowers, the blooms can be blue, purple, white, or pink.

Rosemary has many uses. Some people grow it as a decorative plant or for its fragrance. Others use it in cooking or to make tea. Rosemary also has medicinal purposes.

Rosemary Tattoos

Women are more likely to get a rosemary tattoo than men and the most common spot is somewhere on the arm. It is rare to see a whole rosemary shrub in a tattoo; most art features a single sprig or sometimes two.

Rosemary tattoos tend to be small, usually roughly the same size as an actual rosemary sprig. They are typically done in color, particularly if the image includes flowers along with the leaves. Occasionally you will see a tattoo that incorporates other plants or herbs but generally, the rosemary appears on its own.


One of the things that rosemary represents is friendship. Because this plant is an evergreen, it symbolizes the ongoing nature of friendships that last a long time. Related to this is that rosemary also represents trust which is an essential component of a healthy friendship.

It is common for two–or more–people who are friends, particularly women, to get matching tattoos. Since rosemary symbolizes friendship, this is the perfect choice of a tattoo for friends to get done together. Alternatively, one person may choose this tattoo as a symbol of gratitude for the special friends she has in her life.


For many people, rosemary is associated with love, romance, and devotion. In some cultures, rosemary was given to newly married couples; it was thought that this would encourage long-lasting love and fidelity. Some couples exchange rosemary with each other as a sign of their love.

Similar to how friends may get matching tattoos, couples do this as well. A couple may decide to have sprigs of rosemary tattooed on them to represent their love for each other. It is a permanent symbol of their devotion and attachment. Rosemary tattoos may also be chosen just by one partner in a relationship as a sign of love and romance.

Aphrodite, the god of love and pleasure among other things, is also connected to rosemary. Some stories say that when she was born, she emerged draped in this plant. Fans of Aphrodite may choose this tattoo to symbolize love as well.

A rosemary tattoo that is chosen because it represents love might be designed to show two sprigs entwined or otherwise together. In this way, it symbolizes the two individuals who have committed to each other and the everlasting love they have for each other.


For some individuals, rosemary is synonymous with Christmas or other festivities. It is often used in wreaths and other holiday decorations because of its evergreen needle-like leaves and its fragrance. It is commonly used in holiday dishes such as turkey and stuffing.

An individual may choose to get a rosemary tattoo because Christmas is an important and sentimental holiday for them. Perhaps it holds happy memories of family and loved ones spending time together. Many people have fond memories of food and special dishes when they think of the holidays, many of which can include rosemary in them.

Good Luck

Rosemary is seen by some people to be a symbol of good luck. Originating in the 1800s in the southern United States, rosemary was given to people to wish them luck in their future endeavors. It was thought that the person would have success and health in their life after receiving a sprig of this plant.

A person who wishes to create more luck in their life may choose a rosemary tattoo as a way to manifest it. Someone who has experienced a lot of difficult or unlucky situations in the past might want a tattoo that offers them some hope for a better future. A rosemary tattoo that is picked for this reason may include other good luck symbols incorporated into the piece as well.

Death and Burial

Rosemary was used in ancient times in many places in the Mediterranean region, including Egypt, Greece, and Italy. One of the most common practices was to make use of this plant in various burial rituals. It was believed that rosemary represented eternal life since it was an evergreen plant. Similarly, people thought that the fragrance of the plant helped to preserve the physical body.

Individuals who take an interest in ancient history and burial practices might decide to get a rosemary tattoo. More broadly, rosemary is a symbol of remembrance. It is sometimes planted at the gravesites of friends or family members or laid on the ground on top of the coffin. In this sense, a rosemary tattoo might be a person’s way of remembering a loved one who has passed on.

Culinary Arts

Like many fragrant plants, rosemary is used in cooking as a way of flavoring different foods. It is commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine and pairs well with poultry, lamb, pork, and roasted vegetables. 

A professional chef or cook may choose this tattoo to represent their occupation and passion for food. Someone who enjoys cooking at home, as a hobby, or for their family may also opt for a rosemary tattoo. In these instances, the tattoo might incorporate other herbs or culinary symbols in the artwork.

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