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Salvia officinalis
Salvia officinalis

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Zones 2-41, H1, H2
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water
Salvia officinalis ‘Icterina’
Salvia officinalis ‘Icterina’

Salvia officinalis

Garden Sage, Common Sage
Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Herbs, Perennials, Shrubs


All sages have square stems and whorls of two-lipped flowers, either distinctly spaced along flower stalks or so tightly crowded that they look like one dense spike; some species have branched inflorescences. Flower colors range from white and yellow through salmon and pink to scarlet and pure red, from pale lavender to true blue and darkest purple. A few sages have fragrant blossoms. Many have aromatic foliage. Sages attract hummingbirds, bees, butterflies.

Salvia officinalis

Traditional culinary and medicinal sage. To 1–3 ft. tall, 1–2 1/2 ft. wide; stems often root where they touch soil. Aromatic, oval to oblong,wrinkled, 2–3-in. leaves are gray green above, white and hairy beneath. Branching, 8–12- in. stems bear loose, spikelike clusters of 1-in. flowers in late spring, summer. Usual color is lavender blue, but violet, red violet, pink, and white forms exist. Delay pruning until new leaves begin to unfurl, then cut just above fresh growth; cutting into bare wood usually causes dieback.


Hascreamy gold variegation ongreen leaves.

'Berggarten', 'Mountain Garden'

Compact; to 16 in. high.Denser growth, rounder leaves,fewer flowers than species; maybe longer-lived.

'Purpurascens', 'Red Sage'

Leaves flushed with red- violet when new, slowly mature togray-green.

Salvia officinalis 'Tricolor', photo courtesy of Monrovia
Salvia officinalis 'Tricolor', photo courtesy of Monrovia

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Gray-green leaveswith irregular cream border;new foliage is flushed with purplishpink.

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