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Plantidote of the Day 2010-09-23

twig's picture


Common name: Pineapple sage

Family: Lamiaceae (Mint)

Genus: Salvia

Species: Elegans

This particular pineapple sage was bought on a whim while raiding the local garden store's catnip plant stock. A few months ago, it was just a few inches high. Now it's about 12” tall and I've started two more plants from cuttings. (The process could not be easier. Just break off 4” to 6” from the tip of a branch, remove the lowest leaves and stick the stem in water. Roots appear in a few days.)

No green thumb? No problem! Pineapple sage is ridiculously easy to grow. These plants thrive without much attention, just some bright light and a little water.

And then there's the fragrance. Pinch off a leaf, squish it a little in your hand and it releases the scent of fresh pineapple – amazing! The leaves and flowers, which have a sweet, minty flavor, can be used in food and beverages. Plus, bees, hummingbirds and butterflies love pineapple sage flowers.

In zones 8 through 11, pineapple sage is considered a tender perennial, and an annual everywhere else. So if you live in an area where winters are mild, the plants can stay outside, where they can grow as high as three or four feet. If there's a danger of frost, either grow it in a pot and bring indoors until the weather warms up or keep a few cuttings in the house through the winter and plant them in the garden in spring.

(Note: Pineapple sage is a cousin of salvia divinorum, the psychoactive variety, but does not contain the hallucinogenic ingredient, salvinorin A. Sorry!)

Readers, please send lambert images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chantrelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you.... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

PLANTIDOTE GROUP FORMING: Want to help gather images and take Plantidote of the Day to the next level? Of course you do! Just click the Join Groups menu item and sign up!

Click on the image for the full-size version. Click here for the entire series.

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twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

I get a link to join Plantidotes when I click it. Maybe Lambert needs to tweak something.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

I think Lambert may be looking into it shortly.

kerril's picture
Submitted by kerril on

It seemed you had enough on your hands as it is. The loading speed is quite good now by the way.

Submitted by lambert on

... is a source of pleasure now. That was my main priority. That and jockeying the thing through until the upgrade could be accomplished!

kerril's picture
Submitted by kerril on

And I am tipping a glass to you now. Hope you celebrated with something nice.

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

It really has been great so far. And, awesome Twig!

And, thanks for today's plantidote... I will have to check out this plant!

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

I forgot they were there. Glad you like them. They're really fun to make, there are a lot more in the works.

I thought of you today when I found a cashmere sweater at the thrift store. How's the destashing going?