Salvia is the largest genus of about 900 species of plants in mint family Lamiaceae. The genus is commonly known as Sage, which is used to refer to a number of related or unrelated species. About 500 species are native to Mexico and Central and South America with the rest from Central and Southwestern Asia.
Salvia species are herbaceous annual, biennial, or perennial herbs and subshrubs. The stems are angled with leaves that are entire but sometimes toothed, or pinnately divided. The flowers are in racemes, or panicles, with an array of striking colors from blue to red. Trichomes or tiny hairs growing on the stems, leaves and flowers help in reducing water loss in some Salvia species.
Many species of Salvia are used as herbs, as ornamental plants and sometimes for their aromatic foliage. The beautiful flowers attract bees and butterflies. They are also used as food plant for larvae of some Lepidoptera species. br>
Salvia officinalis (common sage) is native to Mediterranean region. Grown as kitchen herbs and herbal medicinal, and also as ornamental plant. Salvia splendens (Scarlet Sage) is widely grown in summer bedding or containers, for its dense spikes of scarlet flowers. Salvia elegans or the Pineapple Sage is widely grown as ornamental plant, and also for its pineapple-scented leaves.
Grow Salvia in full sun, fertile, and well drained soil and look out for slugs and snails. Propagation is by seed or division in spring.