Once again, a faithful reader has been able to help us identify a mystery plant in My Florida Backyard. The other day, we posted a picture of the plant below and asked for help, and Carolyn from The Longleaf blog was able to help us out. Our mystery plant is.... West Indian Sage (Salvia occidentalis).
This is the part where we generally tell you some interesting facts about the plant. Our internet searches, though, turned up pretty skimpy results. Here's what we know: this plant is native to Mexico and Central and South America, including the West Indies (as you might have guessed). It's not native to Florida, though it is generally considered to be naturalized, and is often thought of as (no surprise here) a weed.
Other than that, the only interesting fact we could find was that Charles Darwin documented this plant during his trip to the Galapagos Islands on the HMS Beagle in 1835. This wasn't the first time the plant was documented in the New World, though - that honor belongs to botanist Olaf Swartz, who gets credit for naming the species in 1788. (Occidentalis is Latin meaning "West", and is used in this case to describe species from the Western hemisphere.)
So, that's all we know about Salvia occidentalis. We don't know much, but we know we love the pretty little flower, and that may be all we need to know.