Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

KITCHEN GARDENER

There's a sage for every season

October 04, 2006|Susan LaTempa

THE plant commonly called sage (scientific name Salvia) is so popular as a landscape plant in Southern California these days -- more than 60 species are grown here -- that we sometimes forget its value as a kitchen garden stalwart. Not only is it beautiful, with different varieties blooming at different times of the year, but nurseries offer a wonderful range of culinary sages that have unusual fragrances and flavors.

S. officinalis, common sage, has the familiar gray-green leaves, but there are also culinary varieties with variegated, purple and other colors of leaves. S. elegans generally has fruity aromas and flavors, with varieties including tangerine sage and pineapple sage, an autumn-blooming variety with a distinct pineapple fragrance. Try the fruitier sages in fruit salads and as teas. Both common and pineapple sage grow to about 2 or 3 feet in height, do well in full sun, are somewhat drought-tolerant and are attractive to hummingbirds. They're happy in pots or in well-drained soil.

Seedlings are widely available, with a changing selection throughout the year. And as with other flowering perennials in this region, fall's a terrific time to plant.

Susan LaTempa

*

susan.latempa@latimes.com

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|