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Sage Advice
Published: 02/25/2011
 
There are several colorful varieties of sage, including variegated and tricolor varieties.
There are several colorful varieties of sage, including variegated and tricolor varieties.
Gary Hayes

Sage is a colorful and functional addition to your garden.

A popular herb found in kitchens and gardens around the world, sage can be a colorful, aromatic and functional addition to your coastal garden. Widely used for culinary purposes, varieties of sage can provide color and texture in the garden and a range of flavors in the kitchen. There are several varieties of sage, including variegated and tricolor varieties. Common sage, (salvia officinalis) or garden sage is best known as a turkey stuffing seasoning, but it can be used to flavor teas and in other culinary applications. Purple sage (salvia purpurascens) is similar to garden sage, however it's not as weather-tolerant, so you'll need to protect your purple sages in cold temperatures. Used in cooking and in teas, the deep purples and reds add interest and vibrancy. Pineapple sage (salvia elegans) is a sub-tropical variety that thrives in warm climates. Its pointed leaves and reddish flowers give this sage a distinct look. As the name suggests, Pineapple sage has a fruity aroma which attracts hummingbirds in the garden and adds fruity flavors in culinary applications. This sage is highly susceptible to cold temperatures, so take precautions against cold night air and winter weather. Sage varieties can reach a height and diameter of up to three feet, so they should be planted with plenty of room around it. It does well in various soils.

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