Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lamiaceae family - Salvias

Salvias or Sages are an absolute must have in any Sustainable, Cottage, Gothic or Blue garden.

They make a wonderful filler have countless uses and are very pretty to boot!! Being a member of the Lamiaceae family this evergreen perennial is quite hardy and drought tolerant with a low growing bun shape similar to lavender. It has a sweet gentle fragrance and is often used in Greek Italian and European recipes.The more common Salvia officinalis, picturee above has long elongated furry leaves with mauve to blue tubulate flowers on long spikes growing on long terminal spikes above the foliage. It makes a great addition to any herb or kitchen garden and the leaves are delicious when chopped finely and added to savoury stuffings, soups or even in scones or bread.

The less common Salvia elegans or Pineapple sage pictured here is very pretty and gives off a beautiful sweet smell similar to freshly cut pineapple. Apart from being very pretty and tough the flowers of this gorgeous perennial can be added to salad and side dishes.It makes a bright filler and like other salvias will also grow well in pots.

Salvia microphylla also known as Little Leaf Sage or Cherry Sage has as the name would suggest a slightly smaller leaf than other sages and also comes in a variety of shades. Ranging from red to purple and including a red and white variety known as Hot lips pictured below.

All Salvias prefer well draining fertile soil and although they are reasonably drought tolerant they do reliable water . The will grow best in full to filtered sun and prefer not to have "wet feet".
A very rewarding plant which will provide beautiful colour and will fill a large pot or courtyard with joy and not too much fuss.

I use mine regularly for stuffing poultry -Turkeys or for Roast Chicken. I get a cup of fresh breadcrumbs, a medium sized egg a small diced onion a tablespoon of olive oil tiny bit of garlic and about 5-6 medium sized sage leaves chopped up. I mix all this in a bowl and add milk to moisten if needed for a delicious aromatic mixture . A yummy addition to roast chicken that will get your kids to the table in no time!

The leaves are also great in casseroles, stuffings, and sauces and the flowers make a pretty addition to salads. Another pretty and useful member of the Lamiaceae family!

If you have any Sage recipes you'd like to share please feel free to send them andI'll be happy to post them on the blog!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Serena! I enjoyed reading your post! I love salvia and have several plants in my garden. I like that they reproduce themselves. New plants not always have the original plant color, but it's fine with me. I certainly want to use the recepie you gave. Thank you!


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