Salvia elegans

Salvia elegans

Salvia elegans ( Pineapple Sage) An upright perennial herb 1mH with fragrant leaves and bright red tubular flowers in  summer.
Salvia elegans
Salvia elegans

Salvia elegans ( Pineapple Sage) is often used as a culinary herb, and  to attract bees to the herb and vegetable garden.

Flowers: are bright red, a narrow tubular corolla  with a small hood and lower lobes, turned down to allow bees to enter the flower.
Flowers are appear in small whorls of 2 – 4 flowers, crowded along the length of flowering stem. These are held well above the foliage to attract passing insects.
Flowering in late spring through out summer into autumn, a favorite with the birds and bees. The flowers are often used in punches or floated in drinks.

Calyces: are green, small, quite hairy and ribbed. If exposed to the sun, they will often colour. When flowers are finished, they will drop off leaving a green flower stem.

Leaves: are grass green, elliptical,  with both surfaces being hairy and soft crenulations around the edges. Leaves are very aromatic, smelling of pineapple which can be used at the bottom of cake mixes or young leaves chopped up very finely into salads.

Salvia elegans is an interesting plant that can be classed as a herb or as a perennial to be used as a filler behind smaller growing plants.When in flower, this plant looks wonderful in a mixed border for a real splash of colour. Grow with other perennials and small shrubs which compliment the bright red coloured flowers.
Plant in a sunny position to encourage flowers.

The stems have elbows, these will root when they  touch the ground. The plant can expand gradually, by underground stems but are easily pulled out where not wanted.

In winter after flowering has finished, cut down stems to 2 nodes ( used as a marker for the bed) clean out any dead leaves and weak stems. Feed and mulch well to keep the crown warm over the cold winter months.
In spring when shoots appear, remove any wayward shoots, feed again and top up mulch to keep roots cool during the hot summer season.

Propagation: is easy with either tip cuttings or layering the stems.

 

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