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Salvia elegans Honey Melon Sage

Honey Melon Sage
Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Ground covers, Perennials


All sages have square stems and whorls of two-lipped flowers, either distinctly spaced along flower stalks or so tightly crowded that they look like one dense spike; some species have branched inflorescences. Flower colors range from white and yellow through salmon and pink to scarlet and pure red, from pale lavender to true blue and darkest purple. A few sages have fragrant blossoms. Many have aromatic foliage. Sages attract hummingbirds, bees, butterflies.

Salvia elegans

In the wild, this species is variable in habit, bloom time, leaf fragrance. The most commonly grown form, ‘Scarlet Pineapple’ (S. rutilans), grows upright to 3–4 ft. high and wide, with branching, brittle stems; in part shade, growth is lush and needs support. Densely hairy, bright green leaves to 4 in. long, broadly oval with pointed tip. Foliage has a strong aroma of ripe pineapple; used in cool drinks, fruit salads. Slender, 1/2 in., bright red flowers in loose clusters of 8–12 are carried on 6–8-in. stems. In mild-winter areas or indoors, blooms from late fall through spring; elsewhere, it is cut off by frost

Honey Melon Sage

Grows half as high as the species and spreads rapidly to form a dense ground cover; it has slightly smaller blooms and smaller, more rounded leaves that smell something like ripe honeydew melon.

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