Salvia pomifera

Salvia pomifera, the applebearing sage, has a very peculiar growth and is common on some of the Greek islands. It has firm, fleshy protuberances which are about 2 cm thick and swell out from the branches of the plant. They are produced in the same manner as oak apples by the puncture of an insect of the Cynips genus. These excrescences are semi-transparent like jelly and are called Sage Apples, which is the name by which they are sold in the market. They are candied with sugar and made into a kind of sweetmeat and conserve which is highly regarded by the Greeks as a delicacy (also said to possess healing and salutary qualities). It has an agreeable and astringent flavour. This plant is considerably larger than the common garden sage and it has a flavour and more powerful smell, which is a cross between lavender and sage. It grows very abundantly to the size of a small shrub in Candia (Crete) and Syros. The leaves are collected annually, dried and used medicinally as an infusion. The Greeks are particular as to the time and manner in which they are collected, the date being May 1, before sunrise. The infusion produces profuse perspiration, languor, and even faintness if used to excess. There is a smaller Greek salvia in Greece, the Salvia candica, which does not have excrescences.

0 0

Post a comment