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Any of about 900 species of herbaceous and woody plants that make up the genus Salvia, in the mint family. Some members (e.g., sage) are important as sources of flavouring. Easy to propagate, transplant, and grow in poor soil and drought conditions, salvias are a garden staple. Best-known is the 1–3-ft (30–90-cm) annual scarlet sage (S. splendens) from Brazil, whose blazing spikes contrast with dark green, oval leaves from midsummer to frost. Blue sage (S. farinacea), of southwestern North America, is a favourite in dried winter bouquets.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on salvia, visit Britannica.com.