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May 2011
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Salvia elegans – also known as Pineapple sage

Salvia elegans is also known as Pineapple sage. It is a perennial shrub and can grow up to a height of 1.2 – 1.5 m (4-5 feet). It is a native of Mexico and Guatemala. This shrub bears red flowers that are tubular and the aroma is similar to that of pineapple and hence the name Pineapple sage. The stems are erect and leafy. They flower in late autumn and are red in color.
It has tubular red flowers and an attractive scent to the leaves that is similar to pineapple. The leaves are yellow-green and are veined and are hairy. The flowers are in whorls and in scarlet red with inflorescence. The plant can die down with hard frost. This plant needs full sun and grows in hardy zones of 7-11. It prefers clay to loamy soil. It likes dry conditions.
The plant is used as a Mexican medicine for anxiety and lowering down of Blood pressure. It is an antidepressant, antihypertensive, Angiotensin II receptor antagonist and inhibitor of the angiotensin converting enzyme.
It is attracted to many wildlife species like bumblebees, hummingbirds, wasps and hawk moths. Its seeds can be made flour and used to make porridge and its leaves are used as flavoring in cooking. It is used as a border and an ornamental plant. It is ideal for butterfly gardens.

Growing conditions of Salvia elegans:

• This plant needs full sun and so select such a location.
• It grows in hardy zones of 7-11.
• It is preferable that the location be beside a rock wall or beside the house for the warmth.
• This plant needs warmth and so plants it after the last frost in the spring.
• The sage should be sown in March in a pot.
• A hole of one foot square need to dig and it should be at least 6 inches in depth.
• Clear the hole from other roots etc.
• Place the compost in the hole at the bottom about an inch.
• Above the compost add pebbles to ensure draining.
• Above the pebbles one inch of sand should be spread.
• Now add the soil and add water of about one quarter.
• Repeat the layer until the hole is full.
• Now make a hole of about two inches deep and 3 inches square.
• Place the white sage plant in it.
• Push the soil and cover the roots until about one inch of stem is covered.
• Water this plant on alternate days for a week.
• This plant likes dry conditions.
• Pinch off the top of the stem to ensure new growth after 4 weeks.

Care for Salvia elegans:

• Wash the seeds initially but not later.
• Transplant the seedlings at the end of the April.
• Add compost while planting.
• This plant needs about an hour of sunshine minimum daily.
• Prune the old leaves in the fall season.

Images of plant available at this location (link)

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