Salvia L. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this genus. It was described by Carl von Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753.
As of 12-1-21 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online lists 1,010 accepted species in the genus. It is a member of the plant family Lamiaceae with 233 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.
I have grown 13 different species and cultivars of Salvia and I plan on growing more. They are one of my favorite perennials for many reasons. They are carefree and drought tolerant, their scented foliage, many can be used in cooking, their awesome flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies, and so on. Many are insect resistant but not all.
There are native species to most parts of the world and many have naturalized in other parts.
Some are perennial while others are self-seeding annuals or just annuals grown as bedding plants.
The links below will provide you with additional information. The pages under this one are about the species and cultivars I have grown. You can click on the plant’s name under the photos to go to their own pages.
The link below to Flowers by the Sea is probably the best website specializing in Salvia. They have a lot of useful information and they are also a source of plants.
The link to The Missouri Botanical Garden takes you to their Plant Finder page to over 60 different species and cultivars of Salvia.
The link to Dave’s Garden takes you to a list of several good articles about Salvia.
If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please leave a “like” if you have visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂
FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE
MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN
FLOWERS BY THE SEA
THE NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION
I bought my first Salvia coccinea (Scarlet Sage) from an Ebay seller in 2012 while living at the mansion in Mississippi. In 2014 I purchased three plants from Harrison’s Greenhouse labeled “Salvia Mixed” that turned out to be Salvia coccinea. I planted them in the beds on the north and south side of the house where they have continued to self-sow and come up here and there. They weren’t flowering when I bought them so I didn’t know one was going to be a pink bi-color. Common names include Scarlet Sage, Hummingbird Sage, Blood Sage, Texas Sage, Tropical Sage, Red Sage, Indian Fire, and maybe others.
I grew Salvia confertiflora (Red Velvet Sage) in 2012 when I lived in Mississippi and again in 2013 when I moved back to Missouri. I thought it was a GREAT plant and it grew to 52″ tall. The grasshoppers loved it, too…
I brought this Salvia elegans (Pineapple Sage) home from Wagler’s Greenhouse in the spring of 2015. It turned out to be one of the most AWESOME plants I have grown. Hopefully, someday I will find another one locally to bring home.
I bought seeds of the Salvia farinacea ‘Blue Bedder’ (Mealycup Sage) from the Family Dollar store in Leland, Mississippi in the spring of 2010 or 2011. I transplanted the seedlings in the corner bed next to the den at the mansion when they were big enough. They did GREAT and even reseeded in 2012. I moved back to Missouri in February 2013 so I don’t know if they came up again or not…
I picked up three Salvia farinacea Cathedral™ ‘Blue Bicolor’ (Mealycup Sage) from Lowe’s on June 10, 2018, and put them in the bed on the south side of the house. They did very well all summer in 2018 but didn’t return in 2019… Well, this species is not winter hardy here…
I bought this Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage) from the same seller on Ebay in 2013 I bought several other plants from. It did great in the south bed and returned in 2014. I moved it to the north bed where it continued to do well over the summer but it didn’t return in 2015… The flowers were so bright it was hard to get good photos.
I brought this Salvia greggii ‘SallyG™ Groovy Magenta’ home from Pleasant Acres Nursery in Leland, Mississippi in 2012 while living at the mansion. It did great over the summer but it didn’t flower as well as the Salvia do here in Missouri. I will gladly give it another shot if I run across it locally.
I brought three Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) home from a local greenhouse in 2019. They were AWESOME and even returned in 2020.
I have brought several Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’ (Little Leaf Sage) home because I think they are neat plants. I bought my first two on Ebay from the same guy as the other plants in 2012 and 2013. The one from 2013 returned in 2014 but not in 2015. I brought home another one from a local greenhouse in 2018 that didn’t return in 2019. Of course, I will bring home another one if I can find one locally. We have three greenhouses here so I never know what I will find… ‘Hot Lips’ gets pretty good sized and blooms almost continually all summer. The flowers are not always bi-color. Sometimes they are all red, sometimes more pink, and sometimes bi-color. Sometimes they are a combination of all three… I think it depends on the heat and day length.
I brought home a Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ and ‘Rose’ in 2017 and put them in the bed on the south side of the house. The ‘Rose’ didn’t make it through the first winter, but the ‘Blue’ continued to return through 2020. I was fairly busy in 2020 and 2021 and severely neglected the south bed… The Celosia argentea ‘Cramer’s Amazon; and Elephant Garlic basically took over the area where this Salvia was growing. I’m not even sure if it returned in 2021…
SO, I brought a couple of Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’ (Meadow Sage) home from Wildwood Greenhouse in 2018 and planted them in the south bed. They proved to be GREAT performers and even came up in 2019. You can’t miss deadheading this one or they will stop flowering… The heat and dry conditions didn’t seem to bother them that much when I got behind. Unfortunately, they didn’t return in 2020…
I brought this Salvia rosmarinus (Rosemary) home in 2017 and planted it in the southeast corner bed. It did great right up until it got extremely cold in January 2018 then bit the dust. In case you didn’t get the memo, Rosemary was transferred to the Salvia genus due to testing. The name changed from Rosmarinus officinalis to Salvia rosmarinus because there was already a Salvia rosmarinus… Actually, Salvia rosmarinus was first named and described by Matthias Jacob Schleiden in Handbuch der Medicinisch Pharmaceutischen Botanik in 1852. So, it is not a new name, it has just been resurrected due to phylogenetic testing.
I bought my first Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ from the discount rack at Lowe’s in Greenville, Mississippi in August 2012. The tag said Salvia nemorosa ‘May Night’. I bought my second from a local Lowe’s a year after I moved back to the family farm in mid-Missouri in 2014. This cultivar is also marketed under the names Salvia x Superba ‘May Night’, Salvia nemorosa ‘May Night’, and Salvia sylvestris ‘May Night’. Every year since 2014, this plant was the first to come up in the spring. in 2019, it did GREAT but had a lot of difficulty in 2020. It barely came up and may have completely fizzled out in 2021. HOPEFULLY, it will return in 2022…
Well, that is all I have for the Salvia genus at the moment. I am sure there will be more in the future.