En EspaŅol

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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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


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?


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 Herbs/Forbs Questions

Erosion Control for a NC Clay Slope
June 06, 2013 - Hi, We have a large slope on the road edge of our property that has been gradually eroding with spring rains (NC red clay). We would really like to plant something for erosion control but the bank is...
view the full question and answer

Fragrant foundation plants for sunny, dry area in Illinois
August 26, 2009 - We need suggestions of what to plant on the south side of our house heave sun and rather dry soil. We just took out old dead bushes. Would prefer something that flowers and smells nice that would gr...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Shady Woodland in MA
June 09, 2013 - Hello, I am looking for natives to plant in full shade or part shade. My house is in the mountain woodland area of Mt. Washington, MA. I am looking for grasses, flowers and shrubs. Also I am looking f...
view the full question and answer

Plants that smell like chocolate from Coral Gables FL
July 12, 2012 - I am looking for plants that smell like chocolate. I live in south Florida. We are currently growing and testing Berlandiera lyrata. Do you know of other plants whose flowers smell like chocolate?
view the full question and answer

Is wild foxglove poisonous to dogs from Liberty TX
May 05, 2012 - Is penstemon cobaea (wild foxglove)poisonous to pets, specifically dogs. I was thinking about adding this to my native Texan wild flower section of my backyard.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center