Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Friday - March 11, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Information about Cedar Sage from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am new to the Austin area and was wondering about cedar sage (salvia roemeriana). Is this plant considered aromatic, non-aromatic of chia? And, other than the edible flower are other parts of the plants used?

ANSWER:

Follow this plant link Salvia roemeriana (Cedar sage) to our page on this plant to learn about growing season, blooming, etc. It is aromatic, as it belongs to the Lamiaceae, or mint, family. This is also why the plant is considered highly deer-resistant, because deer don't ordinarily approach aromatic plants, unless they are really hungry, which is usually. This USDA Plant Profile map shows Cedar Sage as being native to this part of the state.

We must be a little out of things, because the only time we had heard of "chia" was in reference to the funny little animals that "grew" fur. However, we did a little more searching and found this from drweil.com:

"Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows abundantly in southern Mexico. You may have seen chia sprouts growing on the novelty planters called Chia Pets, but historically, the seeds have been the most important part of the plant. In pre-Columbian times they were a main component of the Aztec and Mayan diets and were the basic survival ration of Aztec warriors. I've read that one tablespoon was believed to sustain an individual for 24 hours. The Aztecs also used chia medicinally to stimulate saliva flow and to relieve joint pain and sore skin."

So, insofar as chia is a member of the Salvia genus, it is related to Cedar Sage. It is, however, native to southern Mexico and therefore not in our Native Plant Database. The seeds are apparently the important thing, considered to be a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids. We could find no reference to the seeds of Cedar Sage as being a similar source, but neither did we find anything saying that their seeds were poisonous. So, if you're interested, we guess you could give them a try. We learn something new every day.

 

From the Image Gallery


Cedar sage
Salvia roemeriana

Cedar sage
Salvia roemeriana

Cedar sage
Salvia roemeriana

Cedar sage
Salvia roemeriana

More Edible Plants Questions

Are wild sweet peas edible?
August 05, 2010 - Are wild sweet peas edible? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Are berries of coral honeysuckle edible from Lufkin TX
May 21, 2013 - Are the berries of coral honeysuckle edible?
view the full question and answer

Is 'Hot Lips' salvia edible from Richmond TX
June 23, 2010 - Mr Smarty Plants, I recently planted "Hot Lips" a form of Salvia Sage in my yard in Richmond Texas (just southwest of Houston). The leaves and flowers smell so great I would like to know if either ...
view the full question and answer

Wild plums for jelly from Conroe TX
December 18, 2012 - Do wild plum trees grow in my area? I want to get some next summer to make plum jelly.
view the full question and answer

White spots on Hibiscus leaves
August 06, 2008 - My hibiscus trees have white spots or splotches on the leaves. What is it and what can I do to get rid of it? Also, the birds are eating my tomatoes faster than i can grow them. I've used the owl &...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.