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Salvia officinalis is often confused with:
Plectranthus argentatus Form
Native alternative(s) for Salvia officinalis:
Salvia lyrata Salvia lyrata
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Lavandula x intermedia 'Provence'
Solidago chilensis Solidago odora in the fall in Moore County
Salvia rosmarinus Rosmarinus officinalis

Salvia officinalis

Phonetic Spelling
SAL-vee-ah oh-fiss-ih-NAH-lis
Description

An edible herbaceous perennial herb in the mint family, common sage is a welcome plant to many gardens.  It offers great texture and sensory observations with its ovate, furry grey-green fragrant leaves.  Its bluish-purple 2-lipped flowers grace the plant in early summer and attract butterflies and bees.  Plant in the full sun, though it will tolerate very light shade,  in well-drained soil and apply medium moisture, not letting the soil get too wet.  Tall plants may require some staking. There are several cultivars that come in many leaf colors that contrast nicely with other brighter green plants in the landscape.

The edible flowers have an herbal, musky flavor. Do not eat in large amounts.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Soils that are too wet can cause rot.

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Icterina'
    Variegated leaves chartreuse
  • 'Purpurascens'
    Purple tinge to leaves
  • 'Tricolor'
    Variegated leaves white and purple
Tags:
#bees#butterflies#variegated#drought tolerant#perennial#wildlife plant#fragrant leaves#nectar plant#velvety#rabbit resistant#herb garden#food source#deer resistant#vegetable garden#blind#sensory#rock gardens#borders#hairy leaves#edible garden#hairy stem
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Icterina'
    Variegated leaves chartreuse
  • 'Purpurascens'
    Purple tinge to leaves
  • 'Tricolor'
    Variegated leaves white and purple
Tags:
#bees#butterflies#variegated#drought tolerant#perennial#wildlife plant#fragrant leaves#nectar plant#velvety#rabbit resistant#herb garden#food source#deer resistant#vegetable garden#blind#sensory#rock gardens#borders#hairy leaves#edible garden#hairy stem
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Salvia
    Species:
    officinalis
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Genus name salvia comes from the Latin word to heal as the plant is often sold for medicinal herbal purposes to help with skin and respiratory disorders. Sage has been used in traditional medicine for its antimicrobial, antidiabetic, and antioxidant effects.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    SW. Germany to S. Europe
    Wildlife Value:
    Nectar in flowers is attractive to bees and butterflies.
    Edibility:
    Leaves as a flavoring, in tea, seasoning for meat, vegetable and egg dishes; stuffings.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Herb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Mounding
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Delicate 1" long lavender-blue color 2-lipped whorled around upright flower spikes with green bracts that remain after flowers fall off.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Variegated
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Velvety
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Gray-green fuzzy, wrinkled with clear netted venation. 4" long, very fragrant.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    Yes
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Fuzzy, square
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Patio
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Edible Garden
    Garden for the Blind
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Rabbits