Salvia farinacea, or meadow sage, has a long history in North America of being used for food by Native Americans and European settlers. The leaves can be eaten fresh or dried, added to salads- alone or with other greens-or steeped into a tea. The aromatic flowers are also edible and flavorful when candied. Besides the culinary uses for this plant, it has been employed medicinally as well; its astringent properties were used on sore mouths and throats by the plains Indians (eHow).
The history of Salvia Farinacea
Meadow sage was given its name due to its origins within the wet prairies of North American. It is believed that these plants were native to the Prairies and Meadowlands of North America, specifically in the regions of Texas, New Mexico, and Florida (Weiner). The Native Americans would use the leaves as a cooking ingredient or tea replacement. It was not until European settlers began arriving on this land that they discovered how tasty these leaves could be and its long list of uses.
How to plant and care for Salvia Farinacea
To begin planting your own supply of salvia farinacea you should first take into consideration where it will be planted, what time of year it is (we recommend early spring), how strong you wish your concentration to be (if at all) before going out and actually purchasing some seeds. Once you have a supply in hand you can begin the planting process.
Before sowing, make a pre-sow treatment for your seeds that will help with their germination during the first few weeks. Prepare a box or tray containing seedling mix and moisten it with warm water. Allow it to soak for about 3 days before sowing your seeds onto it. Once they are on this damp surface place plastic wrap over them and poke holes into the film so the seeds have an opportunity to breathe. Then put this tray inside of a larger one and fill this second tray with water so that when the lid is placed on top of the original container all of these elements are sealed together. This will create a miniature greenhouse allowing soil surface temperatures to rise 5 to 10 degrees higher than normal which will aid in the germination process. Once there are signs of sprouting remove from this warmer area and plant into a larger pot or directly outside.
Uses for Salvia Farinacea
Salvia farinacea is a flowering plant that can be used as an herb, spice, vegetable dye, and ornamental garden plant (eHow). Meadow sage was widely recognized by both Native Americans and Europeans as having medicinal properties such as relieving pain and lowering fevers (Best Plants).
Varieties of Salvia Farinacea
Many varieties of Salvia exist with multiple colors and heights available including white, lilac, or purple flowers on short bushy plants. The color of the leaves can also vary from light green to dark purple depending on how much sunlight the plant is receiving.
Salvia Farinacea, also known as the meadow sage, is a herbaceous perennial plant that can be found growing wild in many parts of the United States. The leaves and flowers of this plant are both edible and have a variety of culinary applications. Salvia Farinacea is also a popular medicinal herb, with a wide range of therapeutic uses. Thanks for reading!