At 900 species, Salvia or sage is the largest genus of plants belonging to the mint family. The genus includes the culinary sage used to flavour meats and vegetables. Plants are native to a wide range of habitats in Central and South America, Central Asia and the Mediterranean.
Salvia is a flowering plant that produces spikes of showy flowers from late spring until early fall. Flowers are tubular-shaped and come in a range of colours, including: red, white, pink, violet and blue. They are easily recognized by their square stems and velvety leaves. Foliage is aromatic when leaves are crushed and rubbed.
Salvia is a must-have for every garden. They grow in a variety of conditions; they’re hardy, long lasting and drought resistant. Species range from small annuals to large perennial shrubs. These colourful plants will brighten up your garden, while attracting bees, butterflies and hummingbirds! These showy flowers would be ideal for bedding, borders, containers. One of the most cultivated varieties is S. splendens or scarlet sage, known for its vibrant, spiky, red flowers. Scarlet sage is also one of the easiest plant to grow from seed.
These flowers would also make wonderful, long lasting cut flowers, adding height, texture and colour to flower arrangements.
Climate Zones: 4-10, depending on variety.
Fun Flower Facts about Salvia/Sage:
- The name Salvia comes from the Latin word salvere to mean “to feel well and healthy,” as the plant is known for its healing properties.
- The ancient Greeks & Romans used sage as a meat preservative and memory enhancer.
- The plant was once thought to ward off evil and biting serpents.
- Salvia has a history of traditional medicinal use to treat headaches, diarrhea, anemia and rheumatism. In small doses, it is an anti-inflammatory.
- Sage tea is a natural remedy for headaches.
- Sage was one of the ingredients of “Four Thieves Vinegar,” a concoction made of a blend of herbs to protect the user against the plague.
- S. divinorum, native to Oaxaca, Mexico, is commonly used in performing rituals for curing people. It is known for its psychoactive properties.
- A tale of two salvias (tended.wordpress.com)