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 Salvia subsp. var.  Sage
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Lamiaceae > Salvia var. ,

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This article is about the plant genus called Salvia (sage). For the herb and spice Salvia officinalis see common sage. For the Entheogen used as a recreational drug see Salvia divinorum. For other meanings see sage.

Blue Sage Salvia azurea
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[[{{{domain}}}]] > [[{{{superregnum}}}]] > Plantae > [[{{{subregnum}}}]] > [[{{{superdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{superphylum}}}]] > Magnoliophyta > [[{{{phylum}}}]] > [[{{{subdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{subphylum}}}]] > [[{{{infraphylum}}}]] > [[{{{microphylum}}}]] > [[{{{nanophylum}}}]] > [[{{{superclassis}}}]] > Magnoliopsida > [[{{{subclassis}}}]] > [[{{{infraclassis}}}]] > [[{{{superordo}}}]] > Lamiales > [[{{{subordo}}}]] > [[{{{infraordo}}}]] > [[{{{superfamilia}}}]] > Lamiaceae > [[{{{subfamilia}}}]] > [[{{{supertribus}}}]] > [[{{{tribus}}}]] > [[{{{subtribus}}}]] > salvia {{{subgenus}}} {{{sectio}}} {{{series}}} var.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Salvia (Latin name used as far back as Pliny, meaning to be well or healthy, referring to the medicinal properties of some species). Labiatae. Sage. Herbs, subshrubs, and shrubs, certain of which are of economic use, such as sage and clary, while others are grown for ornament both indoors and out.

Leaves entire, dentate-incised or pinnatisect; the floral lvs. are frequently changed to bracts, rarely similar to the cauline lvs.: floral whorls 2- to many- fld., variously arranged, spicate, racemose, paniculate or rarely all axillary: fls. variously colored, rarely yellow, and various-sized from large and showy to minute; calyx ovoid, tubular or campanulate, 2- lipped; corolla-tube included or exserted, limb 2-lipped; perfect stamens 2, the connective linear, transversely articulate with the filament: nutlets ovoid-3-edged or rather compressed, smooth.—Upward of 500 species widely distributed in the temperate and warmer regions of both hemispheres. Salvia was monographed in 1848 by Bentham in DC. Prod., vol. 12, and an index to the 407 species therein described is found in Buek’s Genera, Species et Synonyma, etc., pars iii. In 1876, Hemsley gave an account in The Garden (9:430-4) of 65 species which had been in cult. up to that time. See also A Synopsis of the Mexican and Central American Species of Salvia, by M. L. Fernald (Proc. Am. Acad. Arts Sci., vol. 35, 1900, and Contrib. Gray Herb. Harvard Univ. N. S. No. 19). In the work just cited 209 species are described and there is an elaborate key. Within the generic limits of Salvia the variation is astonishing. The color of the fls. ranges from scarlet through purple and violet to azure-blue, white and even pale yellow, but there seems to be no good pure yellow. Fig. 3535 indicates something of the range in form of corolla and calyx. Some fls. gape wide open, others are nearly tubular. In some the upper lip is longer than the lower, in other cases the lower lip is longer than the upper. The lower lip is always 3-lobed, but frequently it does not appear to be so, for the lateral lobes are much reduced while the midlobe is greatly enlarged, often deeply lobed, and becomes the showy part of the fl. The calyx is small and green in some, large, colored, and showy in others. In many cases, as S. leucantha, the corolla and calyx are of different colors. The bracts range from minute and deciduous to a larger size and more attractive color than the fls. There are usually about 6 fls. in a whorl, sometimes 2, sometimes many. In spite of these and many other wide variations, few attempts have been made to split up Salvia into many genera, presumably from the feeling that the structure of the stamens makes the Salvias a natural, not an artificial group.

Cultivation of salvias. (Wilhelm Miller.)

Three salvias are cultivated for their leaves, which are used in seasoning and also in medicine. These are the common sage, S. officinalis; clary, S. Sclarea; and S. Horminum. For commercial cultivation of S. officinalis, see Sage.

Clary is a perennial plant, but is cultivated as an annual or biennial. The plants run to seed the second year, after which it is better to pull up the old plants. The seed may be sown in spring, in drills 12 to 20 inches apart or in a seed-bed, from which the seedlings are pricked out in May. In August the first leaves may be gathered and the plants will continue to yield until June or July of the following year.

Clary (S. Sclarea) and its near relative, S. Horminum, are plants of exceptional interest. They are cultivated for their culinary and medicinal value and also for ornament, but their ornamental value lies not in the flowers (which are usually insignificant) but in the colored bracts or floral leaves at the tops of the branches. The various varieties are known as the Purple-top clary, Red-top clary or White-top clary; also Red sage and Purple sage. The two species (S. Sclarea and S. Horminum) seem to be much confused in the catalogues.

Among the salvias grown for ornament there are two large cultural groups, the hardy and the tender. The hardy species are mostly border plants, blooming in spring and early summer. The tender species are generally used for summer bedding, sometimes for conservatory decoration in winter. Many of them bloom in summer and late fall, especially when they are treated as half-hardy annuals.

As regards color of flowers, there are also two important groups, the scarlet-flowered, and the kinds with blue, purple, violet, white, or variegated flowers. Of the scarlet kinds, S. splendens is the most called for; of the blue-flowered kinds, S. patens is the most popular of the bedding class, and S. pratensis the most sought of the hardy class. S. patens probably has the largest flowers of any of the blue-flowered kinds in cultivation.

The most widely used of all salvias cultivated for ornament is Salvia splendens, or scarlet sage. This is one of the most brilliant red-flowered bedding plants in cultivation. It is generally grown in large masses. It does best in full sunshine, but may be used in shady places to light up dark woody recesses. It should have a dark background of some kind by way of contrast. A well-managed mass of scarlet sage may be maintained in full splendor from the middle of July to frost. It is propagated by either cuttings or seed. It is rather troublesome to keep cuttings or plants over winter, as they are particularly liable to attacks of aphis and red-spider. It is, therefore, important to get seed of an early-blooming variety of compact habit, and to sow the seed early indoors or in a frame in time to get good plants to set outdoors in May. A good raceme is over a foot long, with 30 or more flowers in a raceme, and 2 to 6 flowers in a whorl, each flower being 2 inches or more long. Some varieties have erect racemes, others pendulous, and there are white varieties, together with some intermediate colors. A poorly managed bed of scarlet sage gives a few flowers in September and is cut off in a short time by frost. Wet seasons delay the bloom, and, if the soil is too rich in nitrogen, the plants will make too much growth and the flowers will be late and relatively few. The same principles of cultivation apply to other tender salvias used for bedding. Florists sometimes lift a few plants of scarlet sage before frost, pot them and find that they make attractive plants under glass for a month or two. One advantage that S. splendens has over many other red-flowered salvias is that its calyx is as brilliant scarlet as the corolla.

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Main article: List of Salvia species

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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

The following species have been in cult. or are not sufficiently known to be classified: S. amoena, Sims-S. lamiifolia.—S. angustifolia, Cav. (Sec. 7). Perennial herb, about 2 ft. high, with subsessile oblong-linear lvs.: calyx often bluish; corolla blue. Mex. B.R. 1554.—S. arborea, Hort., is offered in the American trade, as like the scarlet sage, but growing in a tree-like form. Possibly only a variant of S. splendens.—S. asperata, Falc. (Sec. 5). Stout herb, about 2 ft. high, with broad subcordate-ovate lvs.: corolla yellowish white. Himalaya. B.M. 4884.—S. austriaca, Linn. (Sec. 6). Perennial herb, about 2-3 ft. high, with broad-ovate lvs.: corolla yellowish, the upper lip spotted red. S. Eu. B. R. 1019.—S. boliviana, Planch. (Sec. 7). Subshrub about 4 ft. high, with ovate-cordate lvs.: calyx dull purple or green and purple; corolla bright scarlet, 3 in. long. Bolivia. B.M. 6714. F.S. 11:1148.—S. Camertonii, Regel (Sec. 7). Subshrub, 3-5 ft. high, with ovate or cordate-ovate lvs.: corolla brownish purple, 1 in. long. Probably Mex. Gt. 4:180. Considered by some as probably the same as S. elegans.—S. camphorata, Hort., is offered in the trade.—S. candidissima, Vahl (S. odorata, Willd.) (Sec. 5). Subshrub or herb, about 3 ft. high, with ovate, lanceolate or orbicular lvs.: corolla white. Orient.—S. canescens, Mey. (Sec. 5). Sts. herbaceous, 2 ft. high, white-lanate at base: lvs. lanceolate-oblong, entire or sinuate-lobate: corolla purple. Caucasus. B.R. 24:36.—S. Celoviana, Hort. Shrubby, with dark bronze-green foliage: corolla reddish violet. Hardy in S.W. England and Ireland. Botanically unknown.—S. ceratophylla, Linn. (Sec. 5). Sts. herbaceous, white-lanate at base: lvs. deeply pinnatifid, 7-8 in. long, with linear lobes, both surfaces lanate: corolla about 1 in. long, yellowish white. Orient and Asia Minor. F.C. 1:5.—S. chamaedryoides, Cav. (Sec. 7). Subshrub about 1 ft. high, with ovate-oblong lvs. which are hoary-tomentose beneath: calyx often purplish; corolla blue, the lower lip very broad. Mex. B.M. 808. L.B.C. 6:576.—S. confertiflora, Pohl (Sec. 7). Subshrub, about 3 ft. high, with ovate-oblong lvs., base cuneate: racemes elongated, up to 2 ft.; floral whorls numerous, many-fld.; calyx reddish; corolla small, not gaping, reddish inside, yellowish or reddish outside, covered with yellow wool. Brazil. B.M. 3899. H.U. 3. p. 203.—S. confusa, Benth. (S. interrupta, Hort., not Schousb.) (Sec. 1). Hardy shrub, about 4 ft. high, with tomentose-pubescent branches: lvs. interrupted pinnatisect, white-lanate beneath: calyx colored, striate and pubescent: corolla whitish. S. Eu.—S. discolor, HBK. (S. mexicana minor, Hort.) (Sec. 7). Shrub, 2-3 ft. or more high, with ovate-lanceolate lvs.: spikes 8-9 in. long; calyx striate; corolla shining violet. Mountains of Peru. B.M. 6772. G.C. II. 19:341.—S. elegans, Vahl (Sec. 7). Perennial herb, 3-4 ft. high with ovate acuminate serrate lvs. hispidulous pubescent or tomentose above, glabrous beneath: corolla blood-red, more than 1 in. long. Mex. and Guatemala. B.M. 6448.—S. eriocalyx, Bert. (Sec. 7). Shrub with divaricate hoary-pubescent branches: lvs. oblong- lanceolate: racemes simple and short: calyx densely lanate, frequently reddish; corolla white. Japan. R.H. 1844:1.—S. flava, G. Forest. Plant, 8-20 in. high: sts. ascending, erect, more or less pilose above: basal lvs. long-petiolate, 1 3/4 – 6 1/2 x 1-3 1/4 in., hastate-triangular or hastate-ovate, more or less pilose on both surfaces, crenate, double crenate, or crenate-serrate: racemes composite; floral whorls 4-8, subremote, generally 4-fld.; calyx pilose; corolla canary-yellow with purple markings, about 2 1/2 in. long: galea slightly lanuginose. W.China.—S. Forskohlei, Linn. (Sec. 3). Hardy perennial, 1 1/2 ft. high: st. herbaceous, somewhat viscous-villous: lvs. broad-ovate: corolla violet. Orient. B.M. 988.—S. Gardneriana, Hort., is offered in the trade.—S. globosa, Hort. Biennial: lvs. in a flattened rosette 16-18 in. long, 10-12 in. broad, deeply cut, clothed with a silvery white tomentum: fl.-st. 3 ft. or more high, much branched, the branches forming a sphere: fls. large, white. Asia Minor. R.B. 37: 28.—S. Greigii, Hort., is offered in the trade as a wooded shrub 2 1/2- 3 ft. high: fls. a soft shade of cerise, produced all summer. G.M. 57:713.—S. Heerii, Regel (Sec. 7, probably). Subshrub, 2-5 ft. high, with cordate-ovate or lanceolate lvs.: corolla scarlet. Peru. Gt. 4:115.—S. indica. Linn. (Sec. 5). Perennial herb, about 3 ft. high, with broad or oblong-ovate lvs., the floral ones ovate-cordate, reflexed: corolla yellow spotted with purple. Syria. B.M. 395.—S. interrupta, Schousb. (Sec. 1). Hardy subshrub, 3-4 ft. high, with irregularly pinnatisect lvs., the extreme segm. much larger than the others: corolla showy, dark violet-purple with a white throat. Morocco. B.M. 5860. — S. lamiifolia, Jacq. (S. amoena, Sims) (Sec. 7). Shrub, about 2 ft. high, with ovate, serrate-crenate lvs.: corolla blue, the upper lip covered with whitish blue wool. W. Indies. B.M. 1294. B.R. 446. L.B.C. 4:377.— S. lavenduloides, HBK. (S. lavenduliformis, Neum.) (Sec. 7). Perennial herb, with very short-petioled, oblong-lanceolate lvs.: spikes 2-3 ft. long; corolla pale blue, small. Mex. R.H. 1845:445. — S. leonuroides, Glox. (S. Formosa, L’Her.) (Sec. 7). Shrub, about 3 ft. high, with ovate or rhomboid lvs.: the floral whorls in the axils of the cauline lvs. not racemose; corolla scarlet. Peru and Brazil. B.M. 376. — S. macrostachya, HBK. (Sec. 7). Shrub, about 6 ft. high, with subrotund-ovate lvs., their base deeply cordate, the auricles rounded ; the floral lvs. large, green: corolla blue, the lower lip longer than the galea, Peru. B.M. 7372. — S. oaxacana, Fern. (Sec. 7). Shrub, much branched: lvs. ovate, pale green and strongly rugose above, white-tomentose beneath: floral whorls mostly 2-fld.; corolla cardinal-red, nearly 1 3/4 in. long. Mex. — S. oppositiflora, Ruiz & Pav.(Sec.7). Half-hardy subshrub, about 2 ft. high, with ovate, pubescent lvs.: floral whorls 2-fld., secund, calyx striate; corolla scarlet. F.S. 4:345. P.M. 15:53. Gt. 4:212.— S. princeps, Hort. (Sec. 7). Subshrub, 3-6 ft. high: lvs. large, ovate-serrate, with the principal veins prominent: spikes large, terminating the branches; calyx colored; corolla brilliant carmine-rose, slightly ventricose, lfts. small. Mex. R.B. 33:257. Resembles S. splendens. — S. prunelloides, HBK. (S. brunellodes, Voss) (Sec. 7). Several herbaceous sts. from a perennial base: lvs. ovate-oblong, both surfaces green: corolla blue. Mex. P.M. 11 : 175. Var. purpurea, Hort., has the fls. purplish red. — S. rutilans, Carr. (Sec. 7). A plant with a small green calyx and usually 2-fld. floral whorls. Probably a horticultural form of S. splendens. R.H. 1873:250. G.C. II. 15:117(?).— S. scabiosaefolia. Lam. (S. Habliziana, Willd.) (Sec. 1). Perennial herb, 1-1 1/2 ft. high, with pinnatisect lvs.: segms. 3-5-jugate, frequently in pairs or 3's: corolla white. Tauria. B.M. 1429 and 5209. —S. scapiformis, Hance (Sec. 11). Perennial herb: lvs. radical, broadly ovate or oblong-cordate: scapes 6-10 in. high; the floral whorls numerous; corolla amethystine. Formosa. B.B. 6980. — S. Sieheana, Hort., is described as perennial, and having large light lilac fls. — S. Souliei, Duthie. Perennial, about 2 ft. high: sts. herbaceous: lvs. dark green, triangular, rugose: fls. numerous, tubular-lipped, delicate shade of blue. China. — S. strictiflora, Hook. (Sec. 7). Shrub, about 2 ft. high, with ovate; pale green, slightly fleshy lvs.: fls. stiffly erect, tubular and golden red. Peru. B.M. 3135. P.M. 11:247.— S. taraxacifolia. Coss. & Bal. (Sec. 1). Sub-shrub, 6-18 in. high, with lvs. 2-4 in. long, pinnatisect, terminal lobe 1-1 1/2 in. long, ovate and irregularly sinuate-toothed, all white-tomentose beneath: corolla pale pink with a yellowish disk to the lower lip and a purple-speckled palate. Morocco. B.M. 5991. — S. tricolor, Lem. (Sec. 7). Half-hardy shrub, about 2 ft. high, with small ovate lvs. rounded-obtuse at the apex, with a terminal tooth: corolla white, the lower part of the large lower lip reddish. Mex. I.H. 4: 120. F.S. 12: 1237.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


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