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Salvia, Sage

Salvia (Sage) is May's plant of the month


Salvia, Sage

Botanical name:

Salvia sp.


Salvias are classified as annuals, biennials, perennials and herbaceous shrubs. Flowers are showy and produced on angled stems. The leaves are typically entire, but sometimes toothed or pinnately divided.

Many members of Salvia have hairs growing on the leaves, stems and flowers, which helps to reduce water loss in some species.

They flower through autumn, winter and spring.

When the hairs are rubbed or brushed, some of the oil-bearing cells are ruptured, releasing the oil.

The defining characteristic of Salvia is the unusual pollination mechanism. When a pollinator probes a flower for nectar the two stamens move with a lever effect and deposit the pollen on the pollinator. When the pollinator withdraws from the flower, the lever returns to its original position. The lever will also adjust to the size of the pollinator.

Salvias have become known in Australia as tough, hardy plants for hot climates.

Plant use:

Commonly also referred to as sage, it includes the widely produced herb used in cooking, Salvia officinalis.

In Mexico Salvia divinorum is known as the Sage of the Diviners and is used by Mazatec shamans during spiritual healing sessions.

Great in the Australian garden for attracting native bees. The soft leaves provide ideal nesting material for some Leafcutter Bees and the flowers are a magnet for a wide range of bees especially the solitary Blue Banded Bee which will dart amongst the blue and purple varieties.

Where can Salvia, Sage be seen in the Parklands?

Back of Centennial Homestead
Near Paddington Gates
Rose Garden

This information was curated by a team of passionate Centennial Parklands volunteers. Find out more about our volunteer programs here.