50 Interesting Facts About Salvias

Facts on Salvias

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Salvias are an incredibly diverse genus of plants, with over 900 species that have been described. They occur throughout the world, except in Antarctica. The name is derived from the Latin word ‘salvia’ meaning “to heal”. This term was used by Pliny the Elder to describe some of its medicinal properties. Many salvias are known for their beauty and fragrance, while others are prized for their culinary or medicinal qualities.

Salvias are members of the mint family and have been used for centuries as culinary herbs. The plants produce beautiful flowers which come in many different colors including white, yellow, pinkish-purple, and blue; these blooms make them great additions to flower gardens or vases on tables. Salvias grow best when planted close together so that they can benefit from one another’s shade and water needs; this also makes it easier for farmers to harvest all of the leaves at once without damaging neighboring plants too much. Some common salvias include chia (Salvia hispanica), lavender (Salvia officinalis) and sages (Salvia species).


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The origin of the name “salvia” is not clear. It may come from the Latin verb to save or heal because these plants have historically been used for various medicinal purposes. The modern genus name Salvia was first published by Carl Linnaeus in his seminal work Species Plantarum in 1753.

Common Names

Some common names include sage, red sage, clary sage, Texas sage, lemon balm, and Mexican mint marigold; the latter two names are also given to other genera of plants outside of salvias due to how similar their scents are.

Common salvias have been used for centuries as ingredients in teas, but the most popular use is as an ingredient in salads and desserts

Interesting facts about salvias

Given below are some interesting facts about different varieties of salvias found around the world:

1. Salvias are the second most popular flower in the world, next to roses.

2. The name “salvia” is derived from Latin salvere, which means “to be saved or healed.”

3. There are over 900 different species of salvias.

4. Salvia Officinalis (commonly known as sage) has been used medicinally for centuries and was originally grown in Ancient Greece and Rome for its healing properties.

5. Many cultures believe that wearing a sprig of fresh salvias will bring good luck to the wearer.

6. The leaves on some varieties of salvia can be eaten like salad greens or cooked like spinach; they have a slightly sweet flavor with notes of licorice or citrus.

7. Salvias are typically long blooming, with flowers that typically last for weeks.

8. There are over 40 salvia species that are native to the United States.

9. Salvia azurea subsp. pitcher sage (also known as Azure) is the only blue-flowered salvia in North America.

10. The leaves of many species of salvias can produce red dyes, making them popular for use in textiles and crafts.

11. Salvias can be used both indoors and out, though they should always be given proper lighting conditions if planted outdoors.

12. There is a cultivar called ‘Black & Blue’ which features rich violet flowers bordered by dark purple calyces.

13. Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish” is a cultivar that blooms continuously in warmer weather, producing white-flowered spikes that are strongly scented with cinnamon.

14. Salvias can be used to support pollinators like bees and butterflies.

15. Spanish for “To Save”, Salvias were planted by the Aztecs around their homes to protect themselves from evil spirits.

16. Salvia guaranitica (Argentine blue sage) is native to Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil but can be grown in most other climates as ornamental flowers.

17. Sages are late bloomers; they typically begin flowering in early summer and continue blooming until frost.

18. Salvia Hispanic (Chia) was an Aztec dietary staple, providing them with energy and nutrition when food was scarce.

19. Salvia microphylla (California sage or Bigelow’s sage) has very small leaves that are densely arranged along the stem; its bright red flower bracts attract native pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies.

20. The University of Arizona has developed a cultivar of Arctostaphylos manzanita (a type of ground cover) called ‘March Pink’ which sports bright pink flowers in early spring; these flowers can serve as an important food source for honey bees in early spring before other plants begin to bloom.

21. Salvias can be planted both in flower beds and around vegetable gardens for added interest, color, and attractivity to pollinators.

22. Salvia Officinalis (common name sage) is an evergreen subshrub with woody stems; its grey-green leaves are lightly fuzzy and smell like camphor when crushed.

23. The dried leaves of most species of salvia can be easily burned as incense, producing a scent that has been described as musky or earthy.

24. Salvias are also known as ornamental sages because they’re popularly used as landscaping plants due to their low water requirements and long-blooming times.

25. Salvinia molesta (common name giant Salvinia) is an invasive aquatic fern native to Brazil that has rapidly spread to ponds, lakes, and rivers in some areas of Florida.

26. Salvias are rarely bothered by pests or diseases.

27. Salvia verticillata is the only herbaceous species of sage that flowers above ground on woody stems; its purple flowers bloom from March through June.

28. Many varieties of salvia belong to the mint family Lamiaceae.

29. Salvia microphylla (California Sage) is popularly planted as an ornamental plant around pools for its intensely fragrant leaves which resemble eucalyptus leaves.

30. The cultivar ‘Allison’ produces masses of violet-blue flowers with white throats over a long period in summer.

31. Salvia dorrii (also known as Dorr’s Sage) is one of the most popular salvias, prized for its deep blue flowers that bloom during springtime.

32. Salvia splendens produce large flower spikes that are intensely red or scarlet; these can last well into winter if kept indoors, but they should be cut back before being brought inside because the stems will not grow once they’re finished flowering.

33. Cultivar ‘Indigo Spires’ is an extremely hardy plant with dark purple to almost black flowers; it blooms several times per season and has a very high yield.

34. Some species of sage, likevia Officinalis (common sage), are evergreen subshrubs that grow year-round; their gray leaves smell like menthol when crushed.

35. Salvia divinorum (common name Sage of the Seers) is an herb native to Mexico which acts as a psychoactive plant; it’s the only known species of salvia that contains D-lysergic acid amide (LSA) in addition to its hallucinogenic chemical, salvinorin A.

36. The genus’ name is derived from the Latin word meaning “to save”; this refers to how early Romans used the aromatic leaves of sage to cure ailments like colds and sore throats.

37. Salvia Officinalis sage (common) can be grown indoors with a little care.

38. Salvia elegant and Pineapple sage is a tender herbaceous species with bright red flower bracts that smells like pineapple.

39. Salvias, which are extremely easy to cultivate and resist most diseases or pests, make excellent container plants.

40. All salvias listed as endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species can be found in Mexico.

41. Salvia Officinalis vulnerable (common sage), listed as by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, is sometimes cultivated for its gray-green leaves which have culinary and medicinal uses; these leaves also contain an essential oil that’s used in many perfumes.

42. Salvia hispanica is another wild Mexican species with culinary and medicinal uses.

43. Salvia sclarea (common name clary) is a Mediterranean herbary sage that’s been used as a food preservative and digestive tonic for thousands of years; its flowers have an intensely sweet perfume that smells like licorice.

44. Salvia elegant vulnerable, listed as by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, has bright purple-pink flowers with white throats and grows in rocky areas of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.

45. The genus’ name comes from the Latin word meaning “to be saved” or “to cure”; this refers to how Romans used aromatic leaves from salvias to treat colds and sore throats.

46. All salvias listed as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species can be found in Mexico.

47. Salvia Louisiana, also known as Dorr’s Sage, is a rare sage that’s been listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species since 1994; Dorr collected it near San Diego more than 100 years ago.

48. The original genus contained only one species, which is native to parts of Central and South America.

49. Salvias don’t require much fertilizer or water to thrive, but they do need well-draining soil with plenty of sun exposure to produce their flowers.

50. Salvia splendens (scarlet sage) is not just one of the most popular salvias, but also one of the easiest to grow; it’s even resistant to deer.

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