Salvia officinalis
Common Name: common sage
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Mediterranean (Iberia and Balkans) and northern Africa
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 2.50 feet
Bloom Time: June
Bloom Description: Blue
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual, Herb
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Fragrant
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil

Culture

Grow in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates very light shade, but best in full sun. Plants tend to sprawl, particularly when grown in less than full sun. Wet soils can be fatal.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Salvia officinalis commonly called sage, is the culinary sage familiar to most cooks. It also has excellent ornamental qualities, however. Variably called culinary sage, common sage or garden sage, this woody-stemmed, semi-shrubby perennial typically grows 1.5-2.5' tall. Features whorls of two-lipped, lavender-blue flowers (to 1 inch long) in short, upright spikes in late spring. Wrinkled, gray-green leaves (to 4" long) are strongly aromatic and are frequently used fresh or dried in cooking as a seasoning. A mint family member that is attractive to bees and butterflies.

Genus name is the Latin name for sage presumably for the medicinal quality of the plants.

Specific epithet refers to the plant's real or supposed medicinal properties and was sold in shops.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to root rot in wet soils. Taller plants tend to sprawl and may need some support if grown as ornamentals in the border.

Garden Uses

A standard herb garden plant. Also quite effective mixed with perennials in borders, cottage gardens, wild or naturalized plantings.