This pineapple sage, named for its scent, has graced my deck all summer and is only now coming into its own. If I had read up on it when I bought it, I would have known that this herb, salvia elegans, is a fall bloomer.
It tolerates some cold, but not the kind of freeze we get here in RI, which on the coast is Zone 7, so I think I will try to overwinter it indoors. It is native to the high forests of Mexico, and the tubular scarlet blooms are irresistible to hummingbirds. Too bad the hummers are gone by the time it really starts flowering.
Pineapple sage leaves are edible, and they are used for medicinal purposes, such as treating anxiety. Perhaps I should have chewed some of those leaves before attempting to use Apple’s horrendous photo program, which I had hoped would be improved in the new El Capitan OS, but no. It is even more annoying than before, so I just gave up and circumvented it entirely.
To end on a positive note, we have stayed more than once at an eccentric but awesome place in southern AZ that is dedicated to hummingbird viewing (Beatty’s Guest Ranch) and they had planted this and other sages all over, so the place was swarming with hummingbirds. This is an attractive and useful plant, and if it croaks indoors over the winter, I’ll buy another in the spring.
I’ve grown a good deal of pineapple sage and, like you was surprised that it bloomed in the autumn. I was sure I was doing something wrong because it wouldn’t flower. And then, surprise! It smells fantastic, too.
And it must grow all year outside where you live, right?
No, it dies back in the winter. I’ve lost it some winters, but it usually makes it back.
It should, living in the south. I sure do love that intense red color.
lol! I always read that it attracts hummingbirds like crazy.