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Culinary Sage

Salvia officinalis x fruticosa

What would an edible herb garden be without sage? Well, mine. Up till now, in my little five-foot by five foot herb bed, I’ve had oregano, mint, rosemary, thyme, lavender, cilantro, parsley, feverfew, chamomile. But when looking for a mildly seasoned pork chop recipe the recently, I wondered why I had no sage. So now I do.

Salvias are everywhere in our nurseries, and many of them are evergreen. So too is the downy-leafed common sage, whose beautiful purple flowers are worth it alone.

The particular variety I am growing is called “Newe Ya’ar” (Hebrew, meaning “good plant”) or sometimes Silver Leaf Sage. It’s a cross between Salvia officinalis and Salvia fruticosa. Salvia officinalis, common culinary sage, is often grown from seed and easy to obtain but as this is a hybrid, Silver Leaf Sage cannot be grown from seed so you have to find it at a nursery. It was specifically cultivated in Israel to withstand hotter climates. From what I have read, common sage often struggles through our summers, so I’m looking forward to seeing how my plants do.

Apparently, this can grow to 5 feet and repeat bloom, unlike common sage, and has a milder flavor. One could find it and other sages suited for Texas at a nursery that sells natives or adapted plants specifically for your area, as I did.

other profiles on Silver Leaf Sage:

The Herb Society of America

Notes on Texas growing of sages by the South Texas branch of the Society

all about Sages and Salvias in Texas Homegrown Magazine

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