Friday, December 11, 2009

Salvia pomifera, Salvia triloba

Now was the time for the collection of sage, or rather the sages... we had been waiting for a few days with beautiful autumny weather, to go down to the hills around Argyroupoli, where our populations of Dalmatian, or Greek sage live.. The scientific name of this sage is Salvia triloba, or S. fruticosa (syn.) and its perfume and essential oil has a truly fruity, round and harmonious aroma... The leaves are soft.. as always, you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.. We spent 4 days last week here around Argyroupoli, collecting..

The places where we collect are pretty wild, and far from any road...we set out with our boxes and cut the leaves..

Here Joscha is cutting Sage leaves

Babis is advancing through the 'bush'...

You can see sage leaves quite clear here in the foreground

And maybe get an idea of the unspoiled beauty of this area..

Then we carry the filled boxes back to the car up on the dirt-road

And load the car...

The car was parked just under a carob tree, Ceratonia siliqua, also called St. John's bread.. and we used this circumstance to collect some of its ripe seed pods..
Every day we brought our harvest back to the distillery in Modi, to spread the plants in the drying space.. Now they have to be turned everyday, until they are dry and can be distilled..
Now, we also collect another sage species, Salvia pomifera, albeit only for use as herb or herbal tea. This sage is more similar to the common Salvia officinalis..
We collect Salvia pomifera towards the west of Crete, in the gorge near Agia Sophia, between Topolia and Elos..
Here a picture of this plant, you can clearly see the difference between these to species..

And also their habitats are different.. Below you can just see Babis collecting in the gorge...

A spectacular place...