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Salvia apiana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Salvia
Species: S. apiana
Binomial name
Salvia apiana
Jepson

Salvia apiana, also known as white sage, bee sage, or sacred sage, is an evergreen perennial shrub of the genus Salvia, the sages. It is native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, being found mainly in the coastal sage scrub habitat of Southern California and Baja California, on the western edges of the Mojave and Sonoran deserts.

Contents

Morphology

White sage is a sub-shrub that can grow over 1 meter tall. The leaves (about 4–8 cm long) are generally basal and are covered with dense hairs, which give them a white coloring. The leaves are widely lanceolate with tapered bases, and the margins are minutely toothed. The inflorescence is a spike-like cluster with few flowers. The white flowers have lavender spots and streaks. The flowers have a bilateral shape and are about 12–22 mm in length. Both the stamens and styles are exserted past the end of the flower lobes. The 2.5– to 3-millimeter-long fruit is a shiny, light-brown nutlet.

Ecology and Reproduction

White sage is a common plant that requires well-drained dry soil, full sun, and little water. The plant occurs on dry slopes in coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and yellow-pine forests of Southern California to Baja California at less than 1500 m elevation.

Bumblebees, hawk moths, and wasps pollinate white sage, and hummingbirds also appear to like the plant.

White sage typically flowers between May and August.

Ethnobotany

S. apiana in flower

Native Americans have several uses for this plant: Seeds are ground into a flour and used for mush; leaves are used for flavoring in cooking; leaves are also eaten, smoked, or used in a sweathouse as a remedy for colds; seeds are dropped into the eye and permitted to roll around under the eyelids in order to cleanse the eyes; and leaves are crushed and mixed with water to create a hair shampoo, dye, and straightener.

White sage is also used medicinally. It can be made into a tea, which decreases sweating, salivation, and mucous secretions in the sinuses, throat, and lungs. Cold tea can be a good stomach tonic, while a lukewarm tea is good for treating sore throats. The leaves can also be used as a uterine hemostatic tea for heavy menstruation; however, since it can also decrease lactation, nursing mothers are advised not to use it.

White sage is considered sacred by many Native Americans; it is used to make smudge sticks, a type of incense. White sage is believed to cleanse a space of any evil spirits or 'negative' energies that may be present. This power is said to be released from the plant by the burning of the leaves, which are typically bundled into a wand or stick. Today many Native American tribes still use the stems and leaves for smudging as part of purification ceremonies. The practice has also been adopted by some modern neopagans, and for general spiritual uses.

See also

References

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Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Salvia apiana

Taxonavigation

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: Salvia apiana

Name

Salvia apiana Jeps.

Reference

Muhlenbergia; a Journal of Botany. Lancaster, PA, and Los Gatos, CA 3:144. 1908

Vernacular names

Deutsch: Weißer Salbei
English: White sage
Türkçe: Beyaz ada çayı

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