The bright green foliage of this famous Central American plant, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala, compliments the mauve spikes of flowers that appear in July and August. The seeds are a highly nutritious food source and contain high amounts of omega-3,6 and 9, and are harvested for use in health recipes and drinks, and were in fact once the third most produced staple food there, until it was condemned by the European invaders in the 1500s and was almost wiped out altogether. The leaves and stems are also popular in sandwiches, soups, salads and stews. The local name Chia comes from the Nahuatl language and means oily. Aztec warriors used Chia as a very high energy source on their conquests and in fact it is still a traditional food of both the Tarahumara and Chumash peoples of Chiuahua, in the south western part of Mexico.
For best results, sow seeds in good light at any time onto a good soil-based compost. Cover the seeds with fine grit or compost to approximately their own depth. We recommend germinating at 15 to 20 degrees C. Seeds should ideally germinate in between 2 and 6 weeks although they make take considerably longer. Pot on seedlings before finally planting out into a container or a well-drained spot.
Classification:Half hardy perennial