purple sage / Salvia officinalis 'Purpurascens'
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: light, fertile, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average to fast
- Flowering period: May to July
- Flower colour: lilac-blue
- Other features: the leaves can be used fresh or dried to make stuffings, herb teas and herb butter
- Hardiness: fully hardy
An attractive, upright perennial with aromatic, grey green foliage, which is initially flushed with a reddish-purple as it emerges. From early summer the branching stems are topped with spires of lilac-blue, two-lipped flowers, which are particularly loved by bees. A valuable addition to the herb garden, the leaves are high in vitamins A and C and can be used to make stuffings, as well as enhance the flavour of many meat and fish dishes. Purple sage looks stunning planted next to golden oregano in a sunny herb garden. Freshly chopped leaves can be used to make stuffings, herb tea and sage butter. A useful and attractive container plant for a sunny site.
- Garden care: To encourage a plentiful supply of young red-purple foliage gather the leaves regularly and prune lightly in July after flowering.