Do you know which plant you can grow easily? It’s sage! It’s a part of the mint family, like basil, oregano, rosemary, and many other herbs. But why do people grow sage? It’s usually because of its cooking qualities or its attractiveness.
You need help to differentiate between the different types of sage easily. They all have similar names. But interestingly, these plants are easy to grow. Moreover, they can also survive under dry conditions. So, we know that it only requires a little water.
People grow different species of sage for its looks, fruits, or nuts. What is your purpose? You’ll know which sage type to grow when you answer this question. Here are some of the most common types of sage plants with pictures.
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14 Types Of Sage Plants (+Pictures)
Sage can be in more than 900 types, but here are 14 types with pictures to make it easier to identify them.
1. Common Sage
Scientific Name: Salvia officinalis
Culinary sage is the most common type of sage in any herb section. When you cut this sage, you’ll notice that it’s dry and has a light green tint. The fresh culinary sage is light green. It also has a silver touch added to it to enhance its beauty.
At times, you’ll also spot sage leaves to be of beautiful golden color, purple, or dark green with white edges. Interestingly, you can eat the flowers of this plant or use them to add color or garnish your meals.
From the points we discussed above, this type of sage is a great help in the kitchen.
This common type of sage usually spreads up to 3 feet like a bush and loves being out in the sun. Of course, since we use it in our dishes, it tastes and smells delicious.
Since you can easily look for this plant and grow them, it becomes an excellent choice for cooking.
2. Pineapple Sage
Scientific Name: Salvia elegans
This type of sage plant grows annually. You’ll see them laden with bright red flowers attracting pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds. Because it looks attractive, people love growing it in their gardens. But, along with its beauty, there’s another reason behind its popularity- its health benefits.
You’ll find Salvia elegans to have a sweet smell and light citrusy taste. Surprisingly, you can also eat its flowers (yes, flowers, not fruits!) Sometimes, their leaves are also of different colors.
3. Grape-Scented Sage
Scientific Name: Salvia melissordora
Salvia melissordora has a scent like grape but is less popular among people. Its leaves and flowers give the unique flavor of the tea. Like the common sage, you can use its flowers to decorate food. They smell like freesia.
4. Greek Sage
Scientific Name: Salvia fruticosa
When you visit the grocery store in your city, you’ll find sage in the bulk section there. This sage dried for cooking is commonly known as “Greek sage.”
This type of sage is very similar to Salvia melissordora. We use its shoots and leaves to flavor our delicacies and tea. Typically, people use this sage to make Faskomilo tea. So, because of its multiple benefits in the kitchen, you can grow it if you love cooking.
5. Anise-Scented Sage
Scientific Name: Salvia guaranitica
Anise sage has dark green leaves and purple-blue flowers. Its bright color makes it easy to recognize even from a distance. People use this plant only for decoration. However, people do not use this sage for cooking.
This plant smells like anise, so we know it as an Anise sage. You’ll find it as a perennial plant in cooler regions. But in warmer climates, it is an annual plant. Thus, we understand it needs more moisture to grow. Well, this sage can survive a year without water.
6. Golden Sage
Scientific Name: Salvia officinalis ‘Aurea’ and ‘Icterina’
This sage tastes like citrus. But, this is a light-sensitive plant, so it cannot grow well in cold regions. The minimum temperature at which it can grow is 20 degrees Fahrenheit. But later, when it’s springtime, it loses its leaves.
Because of its two-toned leaves, people usually grow it for landscaping.
7. Autumn Sage
Scientific Name: Salvia greggii
Autumn sage blooms throughout the year. This plant can extend up to 3 feet when the soil has enough moisture. It grows attractive flowers of different colors like pink, purple, orange, and even red. You’ll spot them in the gardens or kitchens.
8. Clary Sage
Scientific Name: Salvia sclarea
So far, we have discussed that sage plants are used for decorative purposes or food. But this sage plant is used in many perfumes.
9. Prawn Sage
Scientific Name: Salvia haenkei
Prawn sage? Why do we call it that? Because of its strange flowers that make them appear like shrimp.
This plant can grow up to 8 feet in height and width! Isn’t that huge? You’ll find the smell of this plant lingering in your garden from midsummer until late fall.
But if you live in a dry area and are willing to grow this plant, sorry, my friend. Please consider the plant if you can water it regularly, as it cannot grow under dry conditions.
10. Sonoma Sage
Scientific Name: Salvia sonomensis
The Sonoma sage is a type of plant that grows in the chaparral ecosystem in California. This plant is popular for its purple or blue flower spikes, which you can see above its leaves. They easily grow in soils with high drainage capacity.
But did you know that Sonoma sage is also called ‘creeping sage’? This sage usually acts as a mild stimulant.
11. White Sage
Scientific Name: Salvia apiana
White sage is edible and tastes like pine; hence, it’s a great addition to your kitchen. For its growth, you’ll need a place with optimum sunlight and soil that drains well.
Often known as bee sage or sacred sage, it is also used as a healing agent. How? You can remove foreign particles from your eyes with its help. Moreover, many people from Native America use these plants in their important ceremonies.
If you want to see this sage, you can easily find it in Southern California and Baja California.
12. Blue Sage
Scientific Name: Salvia clevelandii
You’ll majorly find the blue sage in southern California. The blue sage is also popularly known as the Cleveland sage or Jim sage. They usually grow to a height of 4-5 feet. They have beautiful ash-green leaves, which makes this plant recognizable even from a distance and adds to its uniqueness.
To grow this plant, you’ll need sandy soil. If you carefully observe the plant, you’ll find them blooming in a circle, with spikes on top of the flower. A purple or lavender stick is in the center of the circle, giving this plant a beautiful appearance. They attract insects because of their beauty and help in pollination.
13. Blackcurrant Sage
Scientific Name: Salvia microphylla
Blackcurrant sage needs a colder environment to grow. So, they are usually spotted at higher altitudes. People also know it as Graham’s or Myrtle of the Mountains.
This sage has a sweet taste, so you can use it as a kitchen herb while cooking to add flavor to your food. It doesn’t mean this plant is any less beautiful. Their purple flowers certainly attract the viewers.
If you want to grow this plant to a height of at least 3 feet, you’ll need to plant them in a little damp soil with proper drainage capacity.
14. Mexican Bush Sage
Scientific Name: Salvia leucantha
From the Mexican name bush, we understand that it grows in bushes. They have long, spikey, pink or purple flowers.
It needs optimum sunlight and wet conditions to grow to 3 feet. You can use it as an ornamental plant.
Tips On Growing Sage Plant On Your Lawn
Sage plants grow more in dry, warm conditions. It is even better if the pH value of the soil is between 6 and 7. But if you are using fertilizers, it may take away the plant’s flavor.
You can grow sage depending on the climate of your place. It can be anywhere in spring. Avoid watering already wet soil.
Replace all sage plants every four to five years to maintain their productivity.
No. Sage has many types, but you cannot eat some of them.
The best way to use sage is to mix it with your food and add taste to your dishes. You can use it in sauces, bread, meat, butter, tea, and other dishes.
White sage works best to clean. You can do it by smudging or burning white sage on a stick.
Sage has more than 900 types.
Multiple types of sage plants are used for cooking. However, the most common type is Salvia officinalis.
Since there are so many types, you may need clarification about which kind of sage to grow. But for that, first, you need to figure out the purpose of growing. Even if you need help deciding which sage plant to pick, the list above should have helped you. So grab your sage plant and provide the right environment for growth, whether you want to use it in cooking or as a garden addition.