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Salvia elegans

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
SAL-vee-ah el-eh-GANZ
Description

Pineapple sage is an herbaceous perennial in the Lamiaceae (mint) family best grown as an annual in colder regions. It is native to Mexico and Guatemala and grows 3 to 5 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide. The genus name Salvia is derived from the Latin term salveo, which means ‘be well’ and refers to the plant's medicinal properties.

Pineapple sage will grow best in full sun in moist, well-drained soil. Although somewhat drought tolerant, leaves will begin to drop with insufficient moisture. Although the plant will die down to the ground with the first frost, it will grow back the next spring in mild climates. It is not recommended to grow pineapple sage from seed unless started indoors and set out as a well developed plant. Stem cutting is another propagation strategy. 

Pineapple sage is a hummingbird favorite, blooming in late summer to early fall when food sources may be less abundant.The edible flowers have a sweet, fruity flavor with a hint of mint and spice and smell like pineapple when crushed. They look similar to flowers of Salvia coccinea which are NOT edible.Crush a flower; If it smells like sage or grass it is Salvia coccinea, do not eat. If it smells like pineapple, it is Salvia elegans and is edible.

Pineapple sage may be used in borders of pollinator, cottage, herb, and cutting gardens.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No significant problems.

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

More information on Salvia.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Mostly Native Vegetable, Herb and Pollinator Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Golden Delicious’
‘Golden Delicious’
Tags:
#hummingbirds#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#fall flowers#edible plant#wildlife plant#red flowers#edible flowers#nectar plant#low maintenance#cottage garden#fast growing#cpp#well-drained soil#deer resistant#border planting#cutting garden#pollinator plant#edible garden#clumping#butterfly friendly#partial shade tolerant#Buncombe County Sun and Shade Garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Golden Delicious’
‘Golden Delicious’
Tags:
#hummingbirds#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#fall flowers#edible plant#wildlife plant#red flowers#edible flowers#nectar plant#low maintenance#cottage garden#fast growing#cpp#well-drained soil#deer resistant#border planting#cutting garden#pollinator plant#edible garden#clumping#butterfly friendly#partial shade tolerant#Buncombe County Sun and Shade Garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Salvia
    Species:
    elegans
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mexico, Guatemala
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract hummingbirds.
    Edibility:
    It is used in teas, potpourri, cream cheese, jams, and jellies.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Herb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The flowers are produced in whorls of 4 blossoms, opening sequentially up the flower spike. Each flower is 1-2 inches long and has a hood-like upper lip and a spreading lower lip.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Velvety
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The opposite, ovate leaves are 2-4 inches long, with serrated edges. Leaf surfaces are covered with short, fine hairs.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    Yes
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
    Stem Description:
    It has an open-branched clump of erect, square stems, Tall stems may break off in windy conditions.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Diseases
    Drought
    Insect Pests
    Poor Soil