Sage herb is in use over the wide geographical areas. Know about this plant, the leaves, the flower, the habitat, its storage, the various varieties and species.
The Plant & The Stem Of Sage Herb:
The woody and wiry stem of this under shrub is of one or two feet height. There is some scented odor in the plant because of some volatile oils. This hardy perennial plant does not last for more than four years without degeneration. So it is renewed once every four years.
The Leaves Of Sage Herb:
Oblong, paired leaves are 1.5 to 2 inches long and rounded at the ends. Soft hairy leaves are greyish-green in color and glandular on the under surface. The surface of leaves are wrinkled by veins on both sides.
The Flower Of Sage Herb:
Purple flowers are in whorls with lipped corollas. August is the flowering season.
The Habitat Of Sage Herb:
The best kind of Sage plant grows in the islands of Veglia and Cherso, near Fiume. This district is called Sage region. Its honey is best priced due to its peculiar flavor during the blooming period. It is found more where there is little soil and more limestone formation. From Spain to Mediterranean coast to Croatia and Dalmatia are the place where it is found naturally.
Domestic Vs Wild Variety Of Sage Herb:
The wild variety is more woody, with more pungent and astringent taste and strong odor.
Storage Of Sage Herb:
The fresh leaves can be stored in kitchen for two three days. It can be stored for two weeks in refrigerator in ziplock. Fresh leaves should be dried in warm place and not in direct sunlight.
The Different Varieties Of Sage Herb:
- Red Sage (Best for medicinal use).
- Broad leaved variety of white or green Sage (Also best for medicinal purpose).
- Narrow leaved white Sage is best for culinary purposes.
- Spanish or Lavender leaved Sage.
- Wormwood Sage
- Berggarten Sage, It should be used in half dosage as it has a much stronger flavor. It was first discovered at Berggarten mansion in Germany. Its leaves are rounded, greyish-blue in color.
- Golden Aurea – This variety has chartreuse yellow leaves and dark green area around the veins.
- Icterina variety – This ornamental variety has golden variegated leaves.
- Compacta variety – This is the dwarf version of the standard Salvia officinalis and it is propagated by cuttings alone. The seeds are unavailable.
- Holt’s Mammoth – It is similar to the standard variety but with larger leaves.
- Purple variety – Its tree is just 1 1/2 feet tall with purple leaves.
- Tricolor variety – Its green leaves are edged in white with rose streaks.
The above mentioned plants are merely the variety of the same species Salvia officinalis.
The Other Related Species Of Sage Herb:
- Salvia lyrala (North America).
- Salvia urticifolia (North America).
- Salvia hians (Simla), it is famous for attractive for upper greenish yellow and lower violet color contrast.
- S. horminum or Red topped Sage, A South European species is mainly an ornamental plant and used as gargle for gums and as snuff and sometimes to flavor during fermentation.
- S. candica, the smaller Sage of Greece.
- S. pomifera, the applebearing Sage of Greece.
- S. sclarea, Garden clary.
- S. glutinosa.
- S. grandiflora or Balsamic Sage.
- S. mellifer or Ramona stachyoides is called Black Sage and it is found in South California.
- S. elegans or Pineapple Sage. Its other forms are Honeydew melon or peach.
- Blue Sage or S. clevelandii.
- Silver Sage or S. argentea.
Sage & Indoor Herbal Garden:
This medicinal herb is a good candidate for indoor herbal garden as it has culinary, medicinal, ornamental, craft and cosmetic properties. You can grow it in the garden or in a pot. The tree is cut and clipped to the good shape and it can be used to decorate the room. The additional benefit would be that flies won’t enter the room where it would be kept.