pineapple sage seed

pineapple sage (salvia elegans) seeds?

are pineapple sage seeds viable?
i mean.. isnt it a hybrid of some sort, and because of that it wont come true from seed? or am i completely wrong in that line of thinking?
if i plant seeds i get from my pineapple sage, will they sprout into little pineapple sages.. or will they be something else, and if they’re something else.. anyone have any idea what they will be?
sorry if i’m completely off base here.. but i was just looking at my pineapple sage, and it’s got what i assume are little seed pods forming on it and i was just pondering that so i figured i would ask 🙂

I read somewhere that Pineapple Sage seeds are viable, and that the seeds usually come back true. I don’t know this from personal experience, and I’ll be interested to see some of the other responses you get.

WZ is right, Salvia elegans is a species rather than a hybrid, it should come true (making allowances for species variability). The viability will depend on whether the flowers were pollinated.

This message was edited Dec 13, 2003 3:21 AM

well if i get seeds out of these things, i suppose i’ll just be forced to plant them and see what happens 🙂

I have a pineapple sage plant, and can say for certain that the seeds are viable. I get hundreds of sage seedlings sprouting in all the containers nearby.

As far as I can tell, they come true.

Sure is a great hummingbird plant!

I received seeds in a trade; they were viable, but the leaves have no scent at all, and they didn’t bloom this year, only formed a basal rosette. I’m giving them til next summer, then out they go if there’s no improvement :o)

hrm.. strange
so they grow, but they’re not pineapply?
maybe i wont plant ’em.. lol

Kim, for all I know, I may have gotten a “bum batch” – I simply offer up my experience as fair warning to others. In fact, if someone has seeds from seed-raised stock (whose leaves DO have the famous pineapple-y smell), I’d be very interested in working up a trade.

All the pineapple sage I’ve had volunteer has been true to the parent plant both in bloom and leaf scent.

I didn’t save that much seed this year; but, I’d be glad to split what I have.

It would amount to about a dozen seeds, if you want to give it a try.

Terry, I got some seeds from a trade this year that were marked pineapple sage and mine didn’t smell either. They did bloom red and I didn’t know what I was supposed to expect. I was disappoint in them having no smell though. Wish I could remember where they came from. Oh, I do remember. They came from a friend up the road from me, a non member. They got a bunch of stuff from me and didn’t have a lot for a trade, which didn’t bother me anyway. I was tickled to get the seeds at the time. I’m going to go searching now. LOL!!

if you wanted .. i could put a rooted cutting of my pineapple sage that does smell pineapply aside for you, and send it at a later date when the weather is better for shipping “live” things than it is now.. lol
SASE maybe?

Awwww, y’all are so sweet. Tell you what: if I’m still pouting over my scent-less Sage come spring, I’ll post a request for it in the trade forum, and we can work up a trade or SASE arrangement. Thanks.

sounds like a good idea 🙂
i’m sure i’ll have lots of cuttings rooted by then.. lol
these things root so’s really easy to end up with way more plants than you want, or have anything to do

I got some from Weeds recently. They’re blooming like crazy right now and if I’m working downwind of one of the plants it smells like a pineapple lifesaver

Floridian, maybe God gave us weeds so that we have an excuse to get down by the plants to smell their lovely scents. (Of course, he could have made the stems longer, but my theory sounded good!)

hey weez was that weeds the noxious variety or weeds the floridian LOL

Oh, I see your point! LOL! No connection intended! I guess I understood ‘working downwind’ to mean weeding. Of course, I guess we should be grateful that God gave us the other ‘Weeds’ as well.

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Pineapple sage, Salvia elegans

Pineapple sage, Salvia elegans

Salvia elegans is one of about 700 species in this genus in the mint family (Lamiaceae). This perennial subshrub native to the edges of pine and oak forests in the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains of Mexico and Guatemala was introduced as an ornamental garden plant around 1870. Hardy only in zones 8-11 it is grown as an annual in cooler climates. The common name of pineapple sage comes from the scent of the leaves when crushed, although the strength of the aroma varies depending on weather and moisture levels.

Pineapple sage has an open habit.

This species is a rangy, semi-woody to herbaceous shrub that produces an open-branched clump of erect, square stems covered with yellow-green leaves. Tall stems are susceptible to wind damage, often breaking off at the base.

Pineapple sage leaves have a fuzzy appearance.

The opposite, ovate leaves are 2-4 inches long with serrated edges. Both leaf surfaces area covered with short, fine hairs, giving them a softly fuzzy appearance. Although the species can grow up to 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide, the cultivars are usually much shorter. The plants die back to the ground after a hard frost, and in mild enough climates will grow back the following spring. Pineapple sage is fairly fast growing, so it can be grown as an annual in colder areas where it will not survive the winter.

Pineapple sage blooms late in the season, so flowers often do not appear before the first frost in the Midwest.

Pineapple sage blooms late in the season, producing tubular scarlet-red flowers that are attractive to hummingbirds – although in the Midwest the plants frequently don’t start blooming until after the ruby-throated hummingbirds have already departed the region on their migration back to Central America for the winter. These are short day flowering plants, so will not bloom if grown where artificial lights (such as street lights) extend the day length in fall. Where there are no frosts (or indoors, in a greenhouse), plants may continue flowering until spring. The flowers are produced in whorls with 4 blossoms at each node along the terminal inflorescences, opening sequentially up the flower spike. Each 1-2 inch long flower has a hood-like upper lip and a spreading lower lip typical of salvias. Flowers are followed by small, dark-colored, football-shaped seeds that fall out of the calyx within a few days of fully ripening.

The flowers of pineapple sage start in a recurved inflorescence (L) that straightens up and flowers bloom sequentially from the bottom up (LC). The flowers are produced in whorls (RC) and each flower has a hood-like upper lip and a spreading lower lip typical of salvias (R).

Pineapple sage is often grown for its vibrant foliage rather than the flowers.

Because it blooms so late in the season (and often is killed by frost before flowering) this plant is often grown primarily for its vibrant foliage that contrasts well with so many other annual or perennial plants with typical green leaves. Combine it with plants with dark-colored foliage or dark purple petunias for maximum contrast. Use it in beds or borders where it can turn into a large, bushy plant in a single season, or add it to the herb garden. It is easily grown in a container, which is more convenient to move inside to keep over the winter than digging and potting up plants in the ground.

Grow pineapple sage in full sun.

Grow pineapple sage in full sun in moist, well-drained soil. Plants will wilt if too dry; leaves will begin to curl up when the plant is dry. Keep evenly moist throughout the season to prevent leaves from dropping. Plants can be pinched when young to produce more branching for denser growth. Old, woody shoots can be removed when new shoots appear (this may only be in spring for overwintered plants). It has few pests outdoors and is not preferred by deer, but is susceptible to aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites in greenhouses.

Both the leaves and flowers are edible and when fresh can be used whole as a garnish or in salads or desserts. As an herb the leaves and flowers can be used as a tea. Both leaves and flowers can also be used in jellies or for potpourri. Snip young, tender leaves in the morning to use as needed throughout the season.

There are a few cultivars of pineapple sage:

    ‘Frieda Dixon’ has salmon pink instead of red flowers.

Salvia elegans ‘Golden Delicious’.

‘Golden Delicious’ is a natural variant with bright chartreuse leaves discovered in 2001 and patented in 2007 (PP 17977). This cultivar grows 1-3 feet tall and has bright red flowers.

  • ‘Honey Melon’ blooms earlier in the summer on a smaller plant than the species, so may be a better choice for northern gardeners that want plants to flower.
  • ‘Scarlet Pineapple’ produces more flowers and bigger flowers than the species and has mid-green foliage.
  • ‘Tangerine’ supposedly has more of a citrus than pineapple scent, with smaller leaves and smaller stature, and darker red flowers. Like ‘Honey Melon’ it will bloom earlier than the species.
  • Pineapple sage can be grown from seed, but the cultivars are propagated from tip cuttings taken in fall or spring. Soft terminals with just leaves root more readily than those with flowers or flower buds or any with woody stems. Tip cuttings will root in water or most rooting media.

    – Susan Mahr, University of Wisconsin – Madison

    Pineapple sage has been used as both an herb and an ornamental. Most people are attracted to it for the pineapple scent of the leaves when crushed, but it is a good addition to the ornamental garden for its attractive foliage, and if frost holds off until late in the fall, the spectacular red flowers. To learn more about Salvia elegans read this article…