This study describes a method development for the determination of rosmarinic acid (RA) by using a gradient high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and its application to certain plant materials. The analysis was performed by utilizing a two solvents system [A: methanol/water/formic acid (10:88:2; v:v:v); B: methanol/water/formic acid (90:8:2; v:v:v)] on a reverse-phase column. The flow rate and injection volume were 1 ml min(-1) and 10 mu l, respectively. Signals were detected at 280 nm. In addition, an internal standard (IS) technique was applied for the analysis of RA to increase precision, and propylparaben was employed for this purpose. The repeatability results as RSD% were 1.66, 1.17 and 1.26 for intra-day and 1.38 was for inter-day with the employment of (3.67 x 10(-5) M) RA. A limit of linearity (LOL) was observed in a wide (1.13 x 10(-5)-5.65 x 10(-4) M) concentration range. Linearity parameters were also examined in the range of 5.95 x 10(-6)-7.14 x 10(-5) M RA, and very good correlation was observed. The limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantification (LOQ) (for inter-day) were 1.60 x 10(-6) M (signal/noise [S/N] = 3.3) and 4.80 x 10(-6) M (S/N = 10), respectively. The method was applied to the extracts of certain Lamiaceae plants (Salvia candidissima Vahl. subsp. candidissima, S. sclarea L., S. verticillata L. subsp. verticillata and R. officinalis L.), and reasonable results were obtained.