Rosemary as a symbol of commemoration in Australia
Rosemary is an ancient symbol of fidelity and remembrance. The aromatic herb grows wild on the Gallipoli peninsula in Türkiye, where the original Anzacs served in World War I. Australians traditionally wear sprigs of rosemary as a symbol of remembrance on Anzac Day or Remembrance Day.
History of its symbolism
Since ancient times, the aromatic herb rosemary has been believed to improve your memory. It's an ancient symbol of fidelity and remembrance. So it's a fitting commemorative symbol to help us remember those who served and those who died.
Rosemary grows wild on the Gallipoli peninsula in Türkiye, where many Australians served in World War I. In the 1980s, cuttings of plants from Gallipoli were planted in nurseries throughout Australia to support Avenues of Honour.
What it means to us today
Wearing rosemary has become a traditional symbol of remembrance and commemoration in Australia.
On special days of commemoration, such as Anzac Day and Remembrance Day, Australians often wear a small sprig of rosemary. Usually, it's pinned onto a coat lapel, near to the heart, or held in place by medals.
Engage more with this topic
Short animation and picture book
Watch our 1-minute video, which supports learning in the Here They Come big book for primary school students.
Rosemary sprigs for remembrance
You could pick some rosemary and wear it on Anzac Day or Remembrance Day.
Perhaps you have a rosemary bush in your garden? You might find rosemary growing near a war memorial in your local community.
Make a rosemary wreath using rosemary branches and gum nuts. It will look and smell amazing.
To make your wreath look truly commemorative, add a splash of colour with some home-made red poppies.