Salvia officinalis L.


Shrubby evergreen perennial herb to about 0.8 m tall, white-hairy. Leaves oblong to elliptic, to about 5 cm long,1.5 cm wide, entire or occasionally with a few lobes, greygreen, wrinkled, very pale below, stalked. Flowers in more or less unbranched clusters in verticillasters of 5-15 flowers. Corolla tube to about 1.5 cm long, white or pink to purple; late spring to summer.

N Africa, Mediterranean

This is culinary sage used in cooking as a seasoning to flavour stews, chicken stuffing etc., as well as in pot-pourri and for making tonic teas.

Tucker et al. (1980).

Purpurascens Group Leaves reddish purple. This group comprises a range of cultivars with slightly different shades of purple, although only one is probably available in Australia (under the name  S. 'Purpurascens').

Source: Garnett, L.; Ellis, G.; Spencer, R.; Templeton, S. (2002). Salvia. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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Distribution map

Salvia officinalis 'Aurea'

Compact dwarf shrub with golden leaves.

Salvia officinalis 'Icterina'

Leaves yellow with white margins. Flowers absent.

Salvia officinalis 'Tricolor'

Leaves mottled pale bluish green, pink, red and yellow.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Lamiales
family       Lamiaceae
genus        Salvia L.