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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.

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

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Wednesday - June 23, 2010

From: Richmond, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants
Title: Is 'Hot Lips' salvia edible from Richmond TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

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 the leaves or flowers are edible? Appreciate your help.

ANSWER:

'Hot Lips' is a trade name for Salvia x microphylla, the "x" indicating that it is a hybrid, which takes it out of our area of expertise. However, assuming that it is still a salvia, it is a member of the Lamiaceae or Mint family, which explains the sweet fragrance. When something is hybridized, we really cannot know the exact characteristics of that plant, but we are assuming it is edible, not having found any indication of poisonous parts. 

Howard Garrett, "The Dirt Doctor" in his article Edible Plants lists Salvia under Perennials as having edible flowers and using the foliage for teas. He also lists "8 Rules for Edible Flowers" which anyone planning to have a snack out of the garden should read.

 

 

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