While both sage and mint are culinary herbs the former whose proper name is Salvia officinalis is part of the genus that contains many popular flower varieties. Both are members of the Lamiaceae (mint) family. There are many types of perennial salvias as well as annuals and biennials. The flowers come in a wide range of colors from blue to yellow. I came across this information in an article by Marie Harrison which I found on Dave’s Garden website.
Salvia is the largest genus in the Lamiaceae (mint) family. The genus contains reliably hardy herbaceous and woody perennials as well as annuals and biennials including over 900 species as well as many cultivars and hybrids. Salvia species can be found throughout the Old World and in the Americas.
Salvia comes from the Latin word salvare meaning to heal or save. Square stems and opposite leaves, each pair at right angles to the previous one, mark them as members of the mint family. Flowers with two lips of unequal length are borne in clusters (spikes, racemes or panicles), and range the gamut of flower colors, including blue, purple, coral, red, pink, white, yellow, and all colors in between. Both foliage and flowers have an incredible range of scents, some pleasant, and some otherwise. Regardless of the scent, hummingbirds and butterflies find them irresistible, and small birds feed on the seeds.
An easy identifier is the tubular or bell-shaped calyx (group of sepals around the outside of the flower that encloses and protects the flower bud). One side is longer than the other, and although it is usually green, some salvias have calyces the same color as the flower, while in others it is a contrasting color.
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