Friday, April 17, 2009

Blue Flowering Sage Herb Plants For Friday Floral

My sage is blooming now, it is so pretty I just had to share it with you.  This is my regular culinary sage.  I must say I am very impressed with how drought tolerant it is!  It is growing with some lavender and artimis plants.  Both plants are known to be drought tolerant bloomers, but I was afraid the sage would need a little extra water.  

Luckily, I was wrong.  I started out with the best of watering intentions too, but you know how it goes what with the drought and all...  I am happy to report that my culinary sage is just as beautiful and water thrifty as the other plants.  Aside from rainfall, this little microclimate only gets extra water from me when it is 120 degrees outside or I happen to be out with the watering can.

I love the giant blue spikes of flowers.  They bloom on stems that are square and woody, usually covered with hairs.  It makes quite a statement out there in the back 40.  This is the same sage I dry for use in the kitchen.  You're supposed to pick the leaves just before the plant blooms but I hate to do that when there are buds forming.  I'm sure it will still be fine. All parts of this grayish green plant are aromatic.  Salvia leaves are long and thin, growing up to 4 inches long and 1/2 inch across.  They are crinkly, fragrant and sticky and can be used in cooking either fresh or dried.  Fresh sage branches are good for stuffing into chickens and turkey. To dry herbs, hang them upside down in a cool dry place.  You can wrap your herb branches with cheesecloth or paper to keep off dust and insects.

Culinary Sage or salvia officinalis is native to the warm Mediterranean regions (so it matches mine nicely).  They grow to a height of three feet tall and can spread as wide. Sage grows in full sun to partial, dappled shade, and are hardy to about 20 degrees.  Did you know the genus named Salvia is derived from the Latin salvare, meaning “to heal” or “to sav"?  Before modern medicine, sage tea was gargled for sore throats and cold tea was drunk to stop sweating. 

Today, this little sage plant is just making my garden look pretty.  Hmm, I'm thinking it would look good in a bouquet with Shasta Daisies or white Baby's Breath.  Let me know what you think.


7 comments:

Blossom said...

They are indeed beautiful. I, too, always wanted to cut my flowers and flaunt them in a vase but I just couldn't bring myself to cut them off. So, I just let them be ...

Town Mouse said...

Nice with California poppies, too! And the fragrance...

Laura Z said...

Town Mouse California poppies is brilliant! They have the same water requirements so they'd fit in perfectly. I'm trying that next year.

Blossom I'm thinking maybe I can get away with cutting a few today... if I take a photo for the blog it's OK then, right?

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Hi Laura,
I just stopped by after picking this post on blotanical...but realize now it's for LAST Friday. Oh well...I found it interesting...I also have Salvia growing. I have several plants that come up every year in my front garden and they produce so many lovely blooms for most of the summer. I just keep deadheading them and more keep coming. I planted blue-bedder salvia in feb. and it's almost ready to put in the garden. It's been fun watching it grow from seed. Now I realize this isn't the same as what you are growing...your culinary sage...what is it's botanical name? I haven't ever used mine other than to look at it. Is salvia the same as sage? See, I don't know anything--I just like to see colorful blooms!!
There's also the salvia that kids have been smoking to get high. How does that differ? Ok, so now I've asked a lot of questions...I don't expect a research paper for an answer! Just wanted to see if you could tell me anything at all; I'd be interested to know!!! Have a great day today! Jan

Laura Z said...

Hey Jan! Thanks for picking me, I love blotanical too! Um, it's still Thursday here in Los Angeles. Are you traveling about with The Doctor? :)

Culinary sage has the latin name salvia officinalis, it is a perennial. The salvia species includes over 900 different species. Some are annual, some perennials. I had a pink annual that re-seeded and came back stronger every year, I have no idea what it was called. There's also pineapple sage (salvia elegans) that tastes great as a seasoning with chicken.

You have the right idea in cutting off your old blooms to extend the flowering season. Happy gardening!

susie said...

Love your post, I too am crazy about sages....I'm with Laura Z, Pineapple Sage's brilliant red flowers would be a great accent. Mine bloomed all winter here in my mild Sunset Zone 21 garden...we actually had frost this year! Or how about a few sprigs of Salvia chiapensis....Chiapas Sage.

bev said...

My sage is also in bloom. Should I cut the blooms or leave them. Will this affect the taste of the sage? My plant is in it's second year.

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