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You will receive
- 1 Salvia Africana (Smoothie) Herb Plant in a 50 X 75mm tube - General growing instructions
All of our Herb Plants are grown organically with certified organic potting mixes and fertilizers
Salvia Africana (Smoothie)
Botanical Name: Smoothie
Salvia africana-caerulea ‘Smoothie’ is one of several popular S. africana varieties. It is known as a compact perennial shrub in Australia, growing about 60cm wide and 60-80cm high. However, there are many reports of growth from 80cm to 1.5 meters. This may be dependent upon how closely local conditions represent the plant’s native coastal habitat of South Africa.
The plant is heavily branched and the leaves may have an appearance reminiscent of succulents. Both leaves and stems are very hairy and the plant releases a strong scent when crushed. The leaf colour is generally green, but they may take on a blue grey tone and are generally lighter underneath. They are elliptical with smooth edges, giving rise to the name ‘Smoothie’.
The flowers are held on 30cm inflorescences, with 2-6 flowers in each whorl. The green calyxes may take on a red tinge and cup the individual flowers like a small vase. The flowers are two toned, with pale blue and mauve lobes and a beeline of dots running down into the throat. The lower lobe acts as a landing pad for bees, while the dots entice and guide them to the pollen and nectar.
The salvia family has over 900 members with an extensive history as culinary, medicinal and ornamental plants. Ornamental salvias have become collectors items, as gardeners try to find a place in their garden for each and every one. There are salvias that will suit every type of soil and climate. More information on the Salvia genus and Common Sage (Salvia officinalis) may be found on our Common Sage page.
Salvia ‘Smoothie’ prefers sunny conditions, tolerates hot weather, windy conditions and does well in dry regions. It is also a plant known for quite good frost tolerance, from minus 1-5 degrees Celsius. It grows well in tough, hot spots in the garden, having evolved growing near rocky and sandy coastal areas. Like most salvias, this one does not like to be water logged, so a well drained soil is required. When first planted ‘Smoothie’ will benefit from regular watering, but after that it will tolerate periods of dryness.
The flowering period is over summer and autumn, however if the flowers are cut back the plant may re-bloom. Under the right conditions – not too hot, not too cold – you may have blooms most of the year. This salvia is bee pollinated and the seeds are dispersed by wind after the petals dry and fall off. Savlia ‘Smoothie’ is easy to grow and propagate from cuttings taken from new growth in spring and summer.
Salvia africana-caerulea was one of the first plants to be used by the Dutch settlers upon arrival in South Africa. It was also used medicinally and for flavouring food because it was seen as a good replacement for common sage. Many salvia varieties were grown in the medicinal gardens of Amsterdam as early as the 1700s.
As a medicinal plant this salvia was used by early settlers as a tea mixed with Epsom salts and lemon juice to treat stomach complaints such as colic, indigestion, diarrhoea and heartburn. The Khosian people also used the plant to treat coughs, colds and women’s ailments. When mixed with other plants it was used to treat fever and measles. The leaves have a mild antiseptic effect and can be used externally. A brew forms a useful mouthwash and gargle for sore throats.
A fresh tea may be made by taking one cup of boiling water and pouring it over one tablespoon of freshly chopped leaves. Steep for five minutes and then add honey or lemon juice to taste. Half a cup, up to four times a day is recommended for coughs and colds. A stronger brew may be made by omitting the boiling water and simply adding the chopped leaves to a tablespoon of honey and two tablespoons of lemon juice. It is also said that simply chewing a fresh leaf will ease a sore throat and may help restore a hoarse or lost voice.
Like most salvias this variety has the ability to be used in food preparation and it may be worth experimenting if you choose to grow it in your garden.
All information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. Please seek professional advice before commencing any treatment.
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