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Common Name: Blackcurrant Sage
Salvia microphylla is a Evergreen Perennial up to 1.20 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
Southern N. America - Mexico to Guatemala.
Requires a very well-drained light sandy soil in a warm sunny position[
]. Prefers a rich soil[
]. Plants can be killed by excessive winter wet[
This species is rather variable with a number of sub-species and cultivars of differing hardiness[
]. The hardiest forms tolerate temperatures down to about -10°c[
] and can be grown outdoors in the mildest areas of the country, though they are probably best grown in a cold greenhouse. When grown outdoors, the top growth will be cut back to the ground in cold winters but, if the roots are given a good mulch in the autumn, plants will often survive the winter outdoors and resprout freely from the base in the spring[
The flowers are very attractive to bees, providing a good source of nectar[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
The leaves have a pleasant scent of blackcurrant and can be used fresh or dried as a flavouring.
A herbal tea, called 'mirot de montes', is made from the leaves[
An infusion of the flowers and leaves have been used in the treatment of fevers[
Seed - sow early to mid spring in a greenhouse[
]. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in early summer. In areas where the plant is towards the limits of its hardiness, it is best to grow the plants on in a greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in late spring of the following year.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood succeed at almost any time in the growing season[