Salvia: Wikis


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Meadow Sage (S. pratensis)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Tribe: Mentheae
Genus: Salvia

see List of Salvia species

Salvia is the largest genus of plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae, with approximately 900 species of shrubs, herbaceous perennials, and annuals.[2] It is one of several genera commonly referred to as sage. When used without modifiers, sage generally refers to Salvia officinalis ("common sage"); however, it is used with modifiers to refer to any member of the genus. The ornamental species are commonly referred to by their scientific name Salvia.

The genus is distributed throughout the Old World and the Americas, with the center of diversity and origin appearing to be Central and Southwestern Asia,[3] while nearly 500 species are native to Mexico and Central and South America.[4]



Salvia species include annual, biennial, or perennial herbs, along with woody subshrubs. The stems are typically angled like other members in Lamiaceae. The leaves are commonly entire, but sometimes are toothed, or pinnately divided. The flowering stems bear small bracts, dissimilar to the basal leaves, in some species they are ornamental and showy.

The flowers are produced in racemes, or panicles, and generally produce a showy display with flower colors ranging from blue to red, with white and yellow less common. The calyx is normally tubular or bell shaped, without bearded throats, and divided into two parts or lips, the upper lip entire or three-toothed, the lower two-cleft. The corollas are often claw shaped and are two-lipped. The upper lip is usually entire or three-toothed. The lower lip typically has two lobes. The stamens are reduced to two short structures with anthers two-celled, the upper cell fertile, and the lower imperfect. The flower styles are two-cleft. The fruits are smooth ovoid or oblong nutlets and in many species they have a mucilaginous coating.[5]

Many salvias have trichomes (hairs) growing on the leaves, stems, and flowers, which help to reduce water loss in some species. Sometimes the hairs are glandular and secrete volatile oils that typically give a distinct aroma to the plant. When the hairs are rubbed or brushed, some of the oil-bearing cells are ruptured, releasing the oil. This often results in the plant being unattractive to grazing animals and some insects.[6]

Classification of species

George Bentham was first to give a full monographic account of the genus in 1832-1836, and based his classifications on staminal morphology.[7] The defining characteristic of the genus Salvia is the unusual pollination mechanism, which consists of two stamens (instead of the typical four found in other members of the tribe Mentheae) and the way the two stamens are connected to form a lever. When a pollinator enters the flower for nectar, the lever activates causing the stamens to move and the pollen to be deposited on the pollinator. When the pollinator withdraws from the flower, the lever returns the stamens to their original position. As the pollinator enters another flower of the same species, the stigma is placed in a general location that corresponds to where the pollen was deposited on the pollinator's body. The lever of most Salvia species is not specialized for a single pollinator, but generic and selected to be easily released by many bird and bee pollinators of varying shapes and sizes.[8] It is believed that this is a key factor in the speciation of this large group of diverse plants.[9] Because this structure is nearly exclusive to Salvia, the genus was thought to be monophyletic. However, it now appears that somewhat different versions of this lever mechanism have evolved in the tribe Mentheae, and at least three different times within Salvia, making the genus clearly non-monophyletic.[10][11]

The classification of different Salvia species has been confused. Many species are similar to each other, and many species have varieties that have been given different specific names. Salvia officinalis, for example, has been described and named under six other specific names at various times. At one time there were over 2000 named Salvia species. That number has been reduced in recent years to 700-900 distinct species and subspecies, depending on the source.[12][13]

Selected species and their uses

See List of Salvia species.

Many species are used as herbs, as ornamental plants (usually for flower interest), and sometimes for their ornamental and aromatic foliage. A selection of the most important species is below.

  • Salvia divinorum, or Diviner's Sage, is sometimes cultivated for psychedelic drug effects; the legality of its drug use is pending in some US states.[15]
  • Salvia elegans, the pineapple sage, is widely grown as an ornamental shrub or sub-shrub, with pineapple scented leaves.
  • Salvia leucantha, Mexican bush sage or woolly sage, is grown as an ornamental in warm climates for its drooping flower heads, with white flowers emerging from furry blue or purple bracts.
  • Salvia microphylla from Mexico, sometimes called baby sage, is a small shrub grown extensively for its red (sometimes pink or white) flowers, and its fruit scented leaves.
  • Salvia sclarea, clary sage, which is grown as an ornamental and to some extent for perfume oils.

Salvia species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species including the bucculatricid leaf-miner Bucculatrix taeniola which feeds exclusively on the genus and the Coleophora case-bearers C. aegyptiacae, C. salviella (both feed exclusively on S. aegyptiaca), C. ornatipennella and C. virgatella (both recorded on S. pratensis).


Both botanic and common names are derived from the Latin salvere ("to save"), referring to the long-believed healing properties of salvia. The derivation of the common English name is through the old French form 'sauge', then to the old English 'sawge', and eventually to the modern day 'sage'.[21] Pliny the Elder was the first known to use the Latin name salvia.[22]


  1. ^ "Salvia L.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2004-09-10. Retrieved 2009-12-15. 
  2. ^ Clebsch, Betsy; Carol D. Barner (2003). The New Book of Salvias. Timber Press. p. 18. ISBN 9780881925609. 
  3. ^ Kintzios, Spiridon E. (2000). Sage: The Genus Salvia. CRC Press. pp. 27. ISBN 9789058230058. 
  4. ^ Clebsch, p. 19.
  5. ^ L. H. Bailey, Manual of Cultivated Plants 
  6. ^ Sutton, John (2004). The Gardener's Guide to Growing Salvias. Workman Publishing Company. pp. 15–16. ISBN 9780881926712. 
  7. ^ El-Gazzar, A., L. Watson, W. T. Williams, and G. N. Lance (1968). "The taxonomy of Salvia: a test of two radically different numerical methods". Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Botany 60: 237-250. 
  8. ^ Classen-Bockhoff, R., M. Crone, and E. Baikova (2004). "Stamen development in Salvia L.: Homology reinvestigated". International Journal of Plant Sciences 165: 475-498. 
  9. ^ Clasenbockhoff, R. (2004). "The staminal lever mechanism in Salvia L. (Lamiaceae): a key innovation for adaptive radiation?". Organisms Diversity & Evolution 4: 189. doi:10.1016/j.ode.2004.01.004. 
  10. ^ Jay B. Walker, Kenneth J. Sytsma, Jens Treutlein and Michael Wink (2004). "Salvia (Lamiaceae) is not monophyletic: implications for the systematics, radiation, and ecological specializations of Salvia and tribe Mentheae". American Journal of Botany 91: 1115–1125. doi:10.3732/ajb.91.7.1115. 
  11. ^ Walker, Jay B., Sytsma, Kenneth J. (August 2007). "Staminal Evolution in the Genus Salvia (Lamiaceae): Molecular Phylogenetic Evidence for Multiple Origins of the Staminal Lever". Annals of Botany 100 (2): 375–391. doi:10.1093/aob/mcl176. PMID 16926227. 
  12. ^ Sutton, p. 17.
  13. ^ Clebsch, p. 18.
  14. ^ Gladstar, Rosemary; Pamela Hirsch (2000). Planting the Future. Inner Traditions / Bear & Company. pp. 247–251. ISBN 9780892818945. 
  15. ^ Sack, Kevin; Brent McDonald (2008-09-08). "Popularity of a Hallucinogen May Thwart Its Medical Uses". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  16. ^ Akhondzadeh, S; Noroozian, M; Mohammadi, M; Ohadinia, S; Jamshidi, Ah; Khani, M (February 2003). "Salvia officinalis extract in the treatment of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease: a double blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial". Journal of clinical pharmacy and therapeutics 28 (1): 53–9. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2710.2003.00463.x. ISSN 0269-4727. PMID 12605619. 
  17. ^ Dos, Santos-Neto, Ll; De, Vilhena, Toledo, Ma; Medeiros-Souza, P; De, Souza, Ga (December 2006). "The use of herbal medicine in Alzheimer's disease-a systematic review" (Free full text). Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM 3 (4): 441–5. doi:10.1093/ecam/nel071. PMID 17173107. PMC 1697739. 
  18. ^ Perry, Ek; Pickering, At; Wang, Ww; Houghton, P; Perry, Ns (Winter 1998). "Medicinal plants and Alzheimer's disease: Integrating ethnobotanical and contemporary scientific evidence". Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) 4 (4): 419–28. doi:10.1089/acm.1998.4.419. ISSN 1075-5535. PMID 9884179. 
  19. ^ Iuvone, T; De, Filippis, D; Esposito, G; D'Amico, A; Izzo, Aa (June 2006). "The spice sage and its active ingredient rosmarinic acid protect PC12 cells from amyloid-beta peptide-induced neurotoxicity" (Free full text). The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics 317 (3): 1143–9. doi:10.1124/jpet.105.099317. PMID 16495207. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ Kintzios, p. 10.
  22. ^ Clebsch, p. 17.


  • Sage: The Genus Salvia by Spiridon E. Kintzios, CRC Press, 2000. ISBN 9789058230058.
  • The Gardener's Guide to Growing Salvias by John Sutton, Timber Press, 1999. ISBN 978-0881924749.
  • The New Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch, Timber Press, 2003. ISBN 9780881925609. An excellent reference on salvias.

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SALVIA, a large genus belonging to the natural order Labiatae, containing about 500 species in the temperate and warmer regions of both hemispheres. The name is derived from the Lat. salvo, from the healing properties of sage, S. officinalis (see figure under Labiatae). verbenaea, Clary, is a native of Britain found in dry pastures and waste places.

Some of the Salvias are among the most showy of the soft-wooded winter-flowering plants, the blossoms being of a bright glowing scarlet. The three most useful species are S. splendens, S. Heerii and S. gesneriflora, the first beginning to flower early in the autumn and lasting till Christmas, while the others follow immediately in succession, and continue in full beauty till April. Young plants should be propagated annually about February, and after nursing through the spring should be grown outdoors in a fully exposed situation, where they can be plunged in some non-conducting material, such as half-decomposed leaves. The young shoots should be stopped to secure bushy plants, but not later than the middle of August. The most suitable compost for them is a mixture 4, The staminal apparatus at rest, with connective enclosed within the upper lip.

3, The same when disturbed by the entrance of the proboscis of the bee in the direction of the arrow.

f, Filament.

c, Connective. [anther. s, The obstructing half of the of mellow fibry loam enriched with a little mild thoroughly decomposed manure, made sufficiently porous by the addition of sand or grit. In spring, and during the blooming period, the temperature should be intermediate between that of a stove and greenhouse. There are other very ornamental species of easy growth, increased by cuttings in spring, and succeeding well in ordinary rich loamy soil. Of these S. angustifolia bears spikes of fine bright-blue flowers in May or June; S. chamaedryoides, a dwarfish subject, has deepblue flowers in August; S. fulgens produces scarlet flowers in August; and S. involucrata produces fine red flowers during the autumn. S. patens is a lovely blue free-blooming sort, flowering in August, the colour being unique.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also salvia


Proper noun

Wikipedia has an article on:



  1. a taxonomic genus, within tribe Mentheae - the sage plants
Wikispecies has information on:



Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Euasterids I
Ordo: Lamiales
Familia: Lamiaceae
Subfamilia: Nepetoideae
Tribus: Mentheae
Genus: Salvia
Species: S. aegyptiaca - S. aethiopis - S. africana - S. africana-lutea - S. albocaerulea - S. algeriensis - S. amarissima - S. amplexicaulis - S. apiana - S. argentea - S. aurea - S. austriaca - S. axillaris - S. azurea - S. bahorucona - S. bertolonii - S. biflora - S. bowleyana - S. brachyantha - S. broussonetii - S. buchananii - S. bulleyana - S. campanulata - S. campestris - S. canariensis - S. candelabrum - S. carduacea - S. chia - S. chionantha - S. cinnabarina - S. clandestina - S. cleistogama - S. clevelandii - S. coccinea - S. columbariae - S. compar - S. daghestanica - S. deserta - S. desoleana - S. dichroa - S. discolor - S. divinorum - S. dolicantha - S. dombeyi - S. dominica - S. dorrii - S. dumetorum - S. earlei - S. eigii - S. elegans - S. farinacea - S. florida - S. forskahlii - S. fruticosa - S. funerea - S. gesneriflora - S. glutinosa - S. grahamii - S. grandiflora - S. greggii - S. guaranitica - S. hempsteadiana - S. henryi - S. hians - S. hierosolymitana - S. hispanica - S. horminum - S. indica - S. judaica - S. jurisicii - S. lachnaiclada - S. lanceolata - S. lanigera - S. lavandulifolia - S. lavendula - S. leonuroides - S. leucophylla - S. limbata - S. lindenii - S. lupulina - S. lyrata - S. mellifera - S. mexicana - S. microphylla - S. microstegia - S. miltiorrhiza - S. miniata - S. mocinoi - S. moorcroftiana - S. napifolia - S. nemorosa - S. occidentalis - S. officinalis - S. oppositiflora - S. pachyphylla - S. palaestina - S. paryskii - S. patens - S. pentstemonoides - S. phlomoides - S. pinnata - S. pitcheri - S. plebeia - S. polystachya - S. pomifera - S. popenoei - S. potus - S. pratensis - S. przewalskii - S. pseudococcinea - S. reflexa - S. regeliana - S. regla - S. rhombifolia - S. ringens - S. roborowskii - S. roemeriana - S. sagittata - S. samuelssonii - S. sclarea - S. sinaloensis - S. spinosa - S. splendens - S. squalens - S. stenophylla - S. stepposa - S. superba - S. sylvestris - S. syriaca - S. tesquicola - S. texana - S. tiliifolia - S. transsilvanica - S. triloba - S. tubiflora - S. urica - S. verbenaca - S. verbascifolia - S. verticillata - S. virgata - S. viridis - S. whitehousei


Salvia L.

Vernacular names

Deutsch: Salbei
English: Sage
日本語: アキギリ属
Türkçe: Ada çayı
中文: 鼠尾草屬

Simple English

Salvia pratensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Salvia

see List of Salvia species

Salvia is a genus in the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is one of three genera commonly referred to as Sage. Sage generally means common sage (Salvia officinalis). This genus includes shrubs, herbaceous perennials, and annuals. Different species of sage are grown as herbs and as ornamental plants. The ornamental species are commonly referred to by their scientific name Salvia.

References and other websites

  • A Book of Salvias: Sages for Every Garden by Betsy Clebsch, Timber Press, 1997, ISBN 0-88192-369-9. An excellent reference on salvias. Also, an updated (2004 edition) is available.
  • [1] ITIS 32680 2002-09-06
  • Akhondzadeh S, Noroozian M, Mohammadi M. R. 2003, Salvia Officinalis extract in the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease: A double blind and placebo-controlled trial. British Journal of Pharmacology, Vol. 140, p22P-22P, 1/2p
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