Used by the Tarahumara and California Indians as a source of food and medicine. Has attractive textured leaves and 10-inch spikes of small, narrow, electric-blue flowers. Parsons has called chia, a "forced march food" because a tablespoon of seed was sufficient to sustain an Indian for 24 hours during a forced march. The seed is very nutritious. When water is added to the seed, a gel forms around the seed. This is a mechanism for holding water to aid germination. Though the flowers are small, the plant makes a nice landscape plant. One of the seeds used for "Chia Pets". (Salvia tiliaefolia)
Medicinal: The seed has been used as a folk remedy for diarrhea, probably because of the water-holding capacity of the seed.
Growing instructions: Annual. Stratify seed for six weeks. Germination at 70°F in 5-7 days. Transplant or direct sow. Space 12-16" apart. Full sun. Grows 18"-36" tall.
Packet: 0.20 g - approximately 700 seeds