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Pineapple sage has bright yellow-green, tear-drop shaped leaves with faintly serrated edges and fuzzy surfaces. The leaves grow opposite each other along stiff, square stems measuring between 5 and 10 centimeters long. When crushed they offer an intense tropical, pineapple aroma. Stems can reach anywhere from .5 to 1.5 meters tall before flowering. The bright scarlet flowers are long and tubular, growing in whorls along the flower spikes. Both the leaves and flowers offer a slightly bitter, citrusy mint flavor.
Pineapple sage is available during the summer months.
Pineapple sage is a variety of known for its yellow-green leaves, fuchsia-colored flowers and tropical scent. Botanically it is classified as Salvia elegans. The plant produces loads of flowers in the fall and is planted for ornamental purposes as well as culinary reasons. The tubular flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds and whole stems are used in bouquets and flower arrangements, making them popular with home growers.
Pineapple sage is an excellent source of vitamin K and is a source of vitamins B6, A and C, manganese, dietary fiber, potassium and folate.
Pineapple sage is used as a fresh herb or in its dried form. Fresh, younger leaves have a greater pineapple scent. They are steeped in hot water for tea or chopped up and used in other fruit beverages and smoothies. They are added to cold soups like gazpacho or salsas or added chopped leaves to baked goods like scones, breads or muffins. Use the herb in marinades, vinaigrettes, and sauces. Store Pineapple sage in the refrigerator wrapped in a damp towel and kept in a bag or container for up to 4 days. The leaves and flowers can be dried for longer storage.
Pineapple sage is used extensively in Mexican traditional medicine, especially for the treatment of anxiety. The botanical name “Salvia” is derived from the Latin salvere "to save,” referring to the healing properties long attributed to the species. Pineapple sage was traditionally prescribed to help treat hypertension, aid in digestion and was used to cool the body during extremely hot summers.
Pineapple sage is native to the oak and pine forests of Mexico and Guatemala’s Sierra Madre del Sur mountains. The herb was introduced to the United States as an ornamental plant during the late 19th century. Pineapple sage thrives in warmer climates where it can be grown as a perennial. The tender plants will not survive a freeze and are planted as annuals in cooler climates. Several Pineapple sage cultivars exist, including ‘Tangerine,’ ‘Golden Delicious,’ and ‘Honey Melon,’ each with slight variations in flower color, size and scent. Pineapple sage can be found in home gardens and is primarily spotted at farmer’s markets.
Recipes that include Pineapple Sage. One is easiest, three is harder.
|The Food Channel||Pan Seared Cod with Pineapple Sage Pesto|
|The Flo Show||Pineapple Sage Salad|