Pineapple Sage

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Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) I was talking to a friend on the East Coast about this plant, and he was complaining that it was available for such a short time there.  Well, here on the West Coast, it’s almost a weed. If you don’t get much of a frost, you’ll be able to harvest it all year.  This salvia (also in the mint family) produces stalks of red, tubular flowers that hummingbirds love, and the leaves are, in fact, pineapple-flavored. There’s a variety called ‘Golden Delicious’ with chartreuse leaves and red flowers, but it’s not really a strong bloomer, and it only reaches a couple feet in height, while the regular pineapple sage can get to six feet in good weather. In any case, give it some sun, don’t worry too much about water, and protect it against winter temperatures below 10F.  (Of course, if you grow it in a container, you will have to water it.  ‘Golden Delicious’ is fabulous as a container plant.)  If the plants look scraggly at the end of winter, cut down some or all of the branches to the ground and it will regrow as soon as the weather warms up.

What to do with it?  Anything you do with anise hyssop will work with pineapple sage as well. This recipe, The Pineapple Express, is a good place to start.