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carole_nsw

Pineapple Sage (Salvia rutilans)

Carole_NSW
20 years ago

Another new herb for my garden .. I might even think of it as "another perennial" for the flower-beds. The leaves have a distinct pineapple fragrance (bright red flowers). Can anyone tell me it's growth habit?

Comments (17)

  • Daisyduckworth
    20 years ago

    I know Pineapple Sage as Salvia elegans. May grow to 1.5 metres or more in warm climates, smaller in cool or cold climates. Grows like a weed in any well-drained soil, in full sun, and likes a fair amount of water. Will self-seed readily and you'll soon have lots of new plants to get rid of. It can get very straggly, but don't be afraid to hack it back to keep it under control. Or to put it more politely, 'pinch tops to keep bushy'. Fertilise when young, but do not feed later in the season. Prune back severely in late summer and divide. Yellowing leaves are an indication that the roots need more space.

    There is a call in some areas for it to be declared a noxious weed. Did you know that the flowers are edible, as well as the leaves? Mine flowers pretty much all year round, and it's in the full, subtropical sun. It has begun to invade my thyme lawn.

  • Carole_NSW
    Original Author
    20 years ago

    thanks Daisyduck - wonder if mine is a variation of yours? rutilans is on the label from the grower. I am always very cautious about things that self-seed so prolifically so will have to keep a keen eye on this one by the sounds of it. Yes the label did suggest you could put the flowers into salads for a sweet-nectar flavouring.

  • Raymondo
    20 years ago

    Just for interest, Salvia rutilans is now considered to be a form of Salvia elegans. They don't seem to be distinguishable from one another. The link below has more salvias than you could poke a stick at.

    Here is a link that might be useful: A World of Salvias

  • sooze
    20 years ago

    Hi Carole, I had the pineapple sage quite a few years ago, it was great and its hot pink flowers looked lovely, but it somehow jumped the fence into the neighbour's yard - he loves it and I can see it thru the fence, but it has never come back to me - its a wanderer, but easily pulled out.

  • Carole_NSW
    Original Author
    20 years ago

    Thanks Raymondo for the web-site - have bookmarked to go enjoy/explore - I do love the salvia/sages. Sooze I took heed of the advice given here and planted mine out today in a large tub ... on a paved area near to the back door with long hours of sunlight. I figure I can keep a close scrutiny on it's wayward behaviour there :) I just love the fragrant leaves.

  • Raymondo
    20 years ago

    There are more Salvias than I ever would have imagined. I wonder if they're all edible?

  • ingi
    20 years ago

    I have had a pineapple sage now for a year, havent had any self seeding though, was actually wondering how to propogate by cuttings, I have found it quite hardy, we live in the southern highlands nsw and get quite a few frosts, it died back a bit through winter, but has come along great since spring hit, actually doubled in size, the scent is wonderful, and on a warm day, I can smell this beautiful scent of pineapples from at least 10m away.

  • Carole_NSW
    Original Author
    20 years ago

    Raymondo - maybe many are but they probably aren't worth it! :) ingi - wow that's wonderful that you can pick up the fragrance of the pineapple safe from so far away; beautiful. I should think you might even try a semi-hardwood cutting in water and see if it will root. Another in a propagating mix - out of the two methods something should be a success. If your sage is wide you would no doubt have quick success with pinning down one of the lower branches - covering with soil and waiting for it to strike and then cut it off.

  • ingi
    20 years ago

    Thanks carole, will try it, actually just bought 2 more couldnt resist, one of the local supermarket chains was having a herb sell out.

  • flytower_au
    20 years ago

    Pineaple sage, seems to die down in the winter here and thats when I prune it back hard. Its fantastic in summer salads,has a slight honey flavour in the salads as well as the wonderful colour. Seems totally harder, grows from cuttings easily, I just pop them in the gorund. Makes quite a large bush. I wouldn't be without it. Judie

  • Carole_NSW
    Original Author
    20 years ago

    thanks Judie - when you say "as well as the wonderful colour" (in salads) seems you're referring to the flowers in the salads?? I've just never done "the flower thing" in foods before and just wanted to be sure.

  • ladyaustins
    20 years ago

    I also have pineapple sage but mine doesnt seem to seed everywhere(thank goodness). I also picked up another edible sage which I really adore, Fruit Salad Sage. Its a much larger plant than pinapple sage ( I am told it can grow up to nearly a metre tall) and it has bright pink flowers. It smells absolutely yummy and the smell wafts through the back yard when I water the garden or brush up against it.It tastes very similar to Pineapple Sage.I just love it.

  • Carole_NSW
    Original Author
    20 years ago

    Ladyaustins ...do you use the leaves chopped up ...in salads and fruit drinks maybe??? Do you use the flowers in anything also?

  • ladyaustins
    20 years ago

    You can use the leaves and flowers the same way you do with the pineapple sage. The leaves are lovely chopped up in jellys or fruit salads and fruit drinks .I am also told that you can combine chopped leaves with apricots as a stuffing for pork, I will have to try this one day as it sounds so yummy.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Link to details about fruit salad sage

  • Desi_R
    20 years ago

    Hi Carole, how's your Pineapple Sage going? I planted mine about the same time as yours and mine is going like wildfire. I strip leaves constantly as I love the smell of them crushed in my hand!

  • Carole_NSW
    Original Author
    20 years ago

    It's going fine but not "like wildfire" ... had a few flowering stems. I do love the fragrances from leaves too ...one of the reasons I bought this one. Love to walk round the gardens and crush the scented leaves.

  • Rickvanderzant_gmail_com
    13 years ago

    I have a fabulous bush of pineapple sage growing. We use it for a chicken stuffing , chopped up in a medley of herbs or just in a vase for decoration in the kitchen.

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