This sage plant is into it’s third growing season and has survived through two winters here in the Piedmont Region of North Carolina. We bought this plant at the Wake Forest Herb Fest in the spring of 2006 and it has grown bigger and better with each passing year. It never turns brown or seems to fade at all, growing year round, it really is a hearty plant. One of the fond memories of travels in the southwest states of New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and western Texas is the abundance of sage brush. It seems so proflic and seems to thrive in dry climates as well. This makes for a perfect plant in our yard as we are still under a moderate drought condition for our neck of the woods.
So it’s not surprising to find out that common sage (Salvia officinalis) is a small perennial evergreen shrub, with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers, and is native to the Mediterranean region. Some people use sage for it’s essential oil, the word sage itself is derived from the Latin word “salvia”,which means “to heal”. Today there is a debate as to the use of sage for medicinal purposes, but it has been known for uses as an antifungal, astringent, antispasmodic, estrogenic, hypoglycemic, and tonic.1 Some folks have been known to dry the leaves, roll them up and smoke them, especially in the southwest regions where it is plentiful in the wild. Bees are also attracted to the sage flowers and they are always a welcome sight in any garden.
Culinary Uses ~ How many of you have ever made a sage stuffing? I bet many a Thanksgiving Dinner has included it with the roasted turkey meal and all the trimmings. How about Sage Derby Cheese? I love this cheese, it has a great sage undertone and I have stuffed poached pears with this cheese, it really goes well with fruit as a dessert. Sage also pairs well with pork such as with a roasted pork loin. Another recipe that was famous in my kitchens is Roasted Pork Loin with Cornbread Apple Stuffing, and I don’t have to tell you that this stuffing uses a lot of sage, oh, and some apple brandy too! Sage can also be found in many a sausage recipe, the Germans and English are famous for adding it to their force-meat.
Here are a few comments from Dave’s Garden web site on sage:
On Oct 15, 2007, 1botanist from Scranton, PA wrote:
Sage is easily propagated during the mid-summer. I now have many new shoots that are taking great. Sage is also wonderful in the kitchen, especially stuffing. I love sage so much, I named my dog after it.
On Mar 25, 2007, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK
(Zone 7a) wrote:
Sage is always welcome in my garden. I was a bit worried about it over winter, as we had some pretty severe ice storms. Thankfully, it not only made it through the rough weather, but is now bounding back, bursting with new foliage. I’ll be planting more sage this year. What a pleasant plant!
1Applied Health: http://www.appliedhealth.com/nutri/page8453.php