Sage plants are evergreen perennial subshrub plants natively belonging to the Mediterranean region. They come from the mint family, i.e., Lamiaceae. Scientifically, we know it as Salvia officinalis.
These plants have stiff woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers. Sage plants grow well in an area with medium to high sunlight. It can grow indoors, provided you keep it near a window facing the sun.
You can use sage to make medicines and cure digestive problems, including loss of appetite, diarrhea, stomach pain, heartburn, and reducing overproduction of perspiration and saliva.
Sage works excellent in the kitchen. You can prepare lip-smacking delicacies by using sage plants. However, all types of sage plants are not edible.
It can be grown quickly indoors and outdoors if the conditions are suitable for its growth. Some sage varieties are purely ornamental. They act as beautiful pollinators in a garden.
People think that the roughly oval pointed leaves with an abnormal appearance are sage plants. This look describes the most culinary variety of sage plants.
Types of Sage Plants
There are two types of sage plants:
- Culinary Sage Types
- Ornamental Sage types.
Culinary Sage Type Plants:
These plants include the following:
The most common sage plant is the Salvia Officinalis, found in most gardens. It is light green. When it is cut and dried, it is tough to distinguish between it and other herbs. The powdered plant is of a faint greenish hue.
Sage plants give their best in garnishing salads. Additional varieties of sage plants known are Berggarten- Which shows lavender-blue flowers in the late spring.
- Bicolor Icternia– The leaves have two colors- cream-colored corners and silvery green centers.
- Curly: As its name suggests, this plant has curly leaves, differentiating it from others.
- Dwarf Green: Another type of plant is a tightly compact version of the species called Minimus.
- Golden Sage: Another type of sage leaf that is golden in color is Aurea.
- Grower’s Friend: This is a non-flowering plant with red-colored stems and light green upright leaves.
- Holt’s Mammoth: It is similar to the Salvia Officinalis but has enormous leaves.
- Purpurea: It is also known as ‘Purpurescens’ or Purple Sage with different kinds of purple flowers.
- Pink Flower: A sage plant also known as ‘Rosea .’ This variety produces pink plants instead of purple plants.
- Tricolor Sage: It has lovely grey-green, white, and purplish-pink leaves. The plant with these mixed colors looks fantastic.
- White Edged: A dark-green center of a leaf with bright white edges looks excellent.
- Window Box: It is a sage plant that acts as a container. It is hardly a foot tall.
There are also a few more subspecies, out of which Salvia Officinalis, known as lavadulifolia in Spanish, is the best. It is of a much milder flavor
It is popularly known as pineapple sage. Like Officinalis, the sage plants have many popular cultivars. Generally, the plants are famous for their fruity aroma and flavor, like a citrus fruit.
Some have variegated foliage, and others have distinctive, beautiful flowers. The various types of Salvia Elegans are:
- Elk Sonoran Red
- Frieda Dixon
- Golden delicious
- Honey Melon
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It is a plant with the scent of a grape. It is sometimes called Grape Sage. This shrub is native to elevations in the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain throughout the year. Both its leaves and flowers are used to make tea and garnish salads.
The flavor of the sage leaves found in a store than in any garden is quite different. You can use its leaves to add flavor to the food. Like Salvia Melissodora, you can also use it in producing leaves. In Greece, people know it as Faskomilo tea.
Do you know that you can eat the flowers and leaves of Clary sage? Long ago, people used them like dried bundles tucked into dresses or trunks for the fragrance of clothing with its balsam fragrance. It is not drought-resistant; it needs regular watering. It is usually a biennial, but it is perennial in cool climates.
It is a sage with the scent of fruit. It is also called fruit sage. It has fragrant pink flowers used in Central America as Showstoppers and has large leaves that people use for harvesting and storage.
These leaves are quite the same as the culinary stage. The plant produces the loveliest flowers. The leaves are edible and packed with nectar. They attract the pollinators for nectar. You can collect them from your garden and eat them.
This sage plant is grown in South Africa and tastes like lemon and pepper. It tastes different from the other sage plants. It is one of the perfect spicy dishes provided as seafood.
In Mexico, people commonly call this plant Mitro de Montes, which means myrtle to the mountains. Except in Mexico, it is known as blackcurrant sage or Graham’s sage. It has flavors similar to that of blackcurrants when made as tea. People often use it in desserts.
As we know, sages are edible, and this one has a pine-like taste like most other culinary plants. It is an evergreen shrub, a sacred seed, and a native plant of southwestern united states. It is grown well in full sunlight. Because of its delicious taste, people use it to make spices.
The alternate name of Salvia hispanica is Mexican Chia. People plant it for its hydrophilic seeds instead of leaves. When the seeds are exposed to moisture, they create a gel around themselves, making it popular in overnight oatmeal smoothies. This sage plant has two subspecies: California sage and Zieglar’s sage.
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ORNAMENTAL SAGE TYPES
All varieties of sage plants are not edible. Some plants have beautiful and colorful flowers of pink, purple, etc. It beautifies the garden and attracts more insects.
This plant grows up to 8 feet tall and wide. It blossoms from mid-summer well into autumn.
This sage plant cannot tolerate droughts. We need to provide it with consistent watering and regular moisture.
This California perennial called Sonoma Sage is renowned in chaparral plant environments. It rarely makes it to a foot tall. Yet, it carries purple flowers and stands over its foliage. It is grown because of its edible leaves.
We commonly find autumn sage in higher elevations. Its native is from Texas into Mexico through the Chihuahuan desert. It grows not more than 2-3 feet in height. It has a minty aroma and produces flowers in various colors, from orange to pink and red to purples.
It needs low maintenance. It is drought-resistant, disease-free, and does not need fertilizers. While it has culinary leaves, it is mainly preferred as Ornamental.
In some instances, people call it anise-scented sage because of its leaves’ fragrance. This beautiful plant grows annually in many regions but may be tender in warmer climates. They attract hummingbirds as they can get a length of 5-6feet.
It is popular as Mexican bush sage and is natively grown in subtropical and tropical portions of Mexico. The white tips of its flowers dip in the tubular lavender calyx. They have glowing color that attracts the bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies during the end of summer.
Blue sage, sometimes called Cleveland sage or Jim sage, is native to southern California. Its cultivation is widespread in Southwestern. It is an evergreen shrub. The fragrant ashy green leaves are obovate and rugose, producing less than 2.5cm tall. It requires well-drained sandy soil and is the best pollinating plant that grows below 900metres.
Salvia Chamaerdryoides or Germander sage is frequently called blue Oak sage or Mexican blue sage. On reaching 12’’-18″ in height and 3-4 feet in width, this pretty plant is a famous ground covering Xeriscape gardens. The blue plants make excellent pollinating plants as well.
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Sage plants mostly need well-draining sandy soil. They act as good pollinators. They are generally mint-flavored, colorful, and have an attractive aroma to attract insects.
Sage stood as a symbol of strength and wisdom. It is used to cure stomach diseases. Some sage is edible, whereas others are ornamental (non edible). Edible sage is used as garnishing or in salads, whereas ornamental sage is used in gardens to attract insects and pollinators to increase the garden’s beauty.
It possesses Vitamin K and several other minerals like magnesium, zinc, and copper. It includes antioxidants in small amounts that can harm our cells and cause cancer. Because of the sage plant’s benefits, gardeners love to make it a part of their garden.