Pineapple sage is a beautiful, late summer flower with a surprise.
Pineapple sage reminds me a great deal of the wonderful fireweed flower that grows up in Alaska. Like the fireweed, it blooms from the bottom of the flower cluster, and continues up the stalk until it ends.
Pineapple sage blooms in the late summer to early autumn. Not only is this plant a beautiful burst of color in your garden, but because it blooms late in the season it is ideal for hummingbirds and pollinators who are migrating through.
Pineapple sage can be grown outdoors or in a pot in your kitchen window. Depending upon where you live and how it is cared for, this can be a perennial. Given enough room, the pineapple sage can really produce. All of the blossoms you see in the photo below are from one plant. It became shrub-like in appearance and easily 4 feet in height and diameter.
Pineapple sage’s secret is revealed in its name. Pluck a leaf, rub it between your fingers, then close your eyes and breathe it in.
The flowers and leaves are ideal for use in fruit salads, breads or jelly. The sage flavor is very mild, and can’t replace traditional sage in savory dishes. It also makes an excellent garnish. Pineapple sage can be dried for tea, though drying the leaves removes the fruitiness of this plant.
Salvia elegans | Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae) | Tender perennial