Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Greek Sage, Salvia fruticosa

Salvia fruticosa 
 Greek Sage

For years I have been trying to grow the herb Sage, Salvia officinalis, without much success. The climate here is just too warm and humid and though the plant grows rapidly for a season or two, it turns up its toes as soon as February arrives. Greek sage is proving to be a much hardier plant with intensely aromatic leaves and beautiful lavender blue flowers covering the plant at the moment. Dried bunches of it are sold in my local greengrocer as Faskomilo or mountain tea. It is the kind of herbal tea which can be sweetened with honey and reputedly sharpens the memory and brings about a sense of well-being.
Salvia fruticosa was previously known as Salvia trilobata as the older leaves have two tiny "ears" or lobes at the base of the leaf. This form lacks the lobes so is probably a hybrid with a wild form of garden sage. It is found growing throughout the eastern Mediterranean including southern Italy, the Canary Islands and North Africa. It prefers dry rocky or poor soil or average garden soil with sharp drainage. Propagation is from seed or soft wood cuttings in spring. Leaves can be dried or used fresh in cooking, best sparingly as the flavour is strong.

2017 update: I have limited stock available.

1 comment:

  1. The flowers are beautiful, like Campanula. Should go well with lamb, and some lavender. yum!