Crolocos calycina (Sm.) Raf.
Crolocos pomifera (L.) Raf.
Salvia calycina Sm.
Salvia fragifera Etl.
Salvia frugifera Benth.
Common Name: Apple Sage
Salvia pomifera is a much-branched, evergreen shrub that can grow up to 100cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine and is sometimes cultivated in home gardens[
Southeast Europe - Greece to Crete and western Turkey
Rocky slopes, limestone cliffs and macchie; at elevations from sea level to 800 metres[
Salvia pomifera is a plant of the drier Mediterranean, with its hot, dry summers and cool, moist winters. It can tolerate winter temperatures dipping occasionally to between -5 and -10°c so long as the soil is well-drained[
Requires a very well-drained light sandy soil in a sunny position[
]. Prefers a rich soil[
]. Soils rich in nitrogen encourage excessive leaf growth at the expense of flowering[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
The leaves have a strong odour and flavour, resembling lavender and common sage[
]. They are used as an adulterant of sage as a commercial food flavouring[
An infusion of the herb is used to make a tea[
]. Very fragrant, it is called 'fascomiglia'[
Semi-transparent galls are formed on the plant as a result of gall wasps invading the young branches. These galls are made into a kind of conserve or sweetmeat by crystallizing them in sugar and this is regarded as a great delicacy by the Greeks[
]. They have an agreeable and astringent flavour[
]. The galls are crystalized in sugar and eaten as a sweetmeat[
]. We are not sure if the galls are used before or after the insect has departed[
An infusion of the dried leaves is used medicinally in Greece[
]. The report does not give any details as to the uses, but does say that in excess the tea causes profuse perspiration, languor and even faintness[
]. The leaves are said to have the same properties as common sage (S. officinalis), but to be stronger in their action[
]. These properties are antihydrotic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cholagogue, galactofuge, stimulant, tonic and vasodilator[
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[