August 17, 2017

Sage Secret

Salvia guaranitica 'Blue Enigma'

Janine Pineo Photo | Salvia guaranitica ‘Blue Enigma’

There’s a lot to love in the land of Salvia, the largest genus in the mint family, and one of the loveliest in the land is Salvia guaranitica ‘Blue Enigma.’ Known as the anise-scented salvia, ‘Blue Enigma’ has that intriguing name, for starters, for who doesn’t like a mystery? But the plant itself is delightful to behold, which is no puzzle at all. The flowers are borne on spikes that put on a show in late summer and early autumn. Set against aromatic, slightly fuzzy, crisp-green foliage, the blossoms of deep blue, really a gentian blue, pop. Its stature is excellent, easily topping 3 feet and ranging closer to 4 feet tall. Like most salvias, it is beloved by bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. Sadly, it is not hardy here in Maine and must be treated as annual. It also does not set seed and must be propagated by cuttings, making it a bit more dear to buy and, sometimes, more of a challenge to find. Get one – or more – if you do find it and the enigma will explain itself.