Sage: a brief introduction

Salvia verticillata lilac sage
Salvia verticillata (lilac sage)

A sage garden is a snack garden for people and animals. The flowers of many species of sage are extremely popular with insects, they are visited not only by honeybees, bumblebees and other wild bees, but also butterflies.

Honeybee on common sage
A honeybee pollinates the flowers of common sage.

What is sage?

Sage is the common name given to plants belonging to the genus Salvia. It is estimated that there are more than 800 species of sage, which are distributed almost worldwide (source).

Among them are shrubs, perennials and annual plants. They belong to the family Lamiaceae, are very closely related to the lemon balm (Melissa) and closely related to the painted nettle (Solenostemon scutellarioides).

The fact that the sage species are members of the Lamiaceae family can be easily recognized by their zygomorphic flowers.

Glutinous sage flower
The zygomorphic flower of the glutinous sage (Salvia glutinosa).

Fun fact: rosemary is also a sage.

As of 2019, rosemary is also a member of the sage genus. Its botanical name is no longer Rosmarinus officinalis, it is now Salvia rosmarinus.

Rosemary Salvia rosmarinus
Flower of rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus).