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any species of the large genus Salvia, aromatic herbs or shrubs of the family Labiatae (mint family). The common sage of herb gardens is S. officinalis, a strongly scented shrubby perennial, native from S Europe to Asia Minor.
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(sage), a genus of perennial herbs or subshrubs of the family Labiatae. The flowers are in false whorls, which form a spicate or panicled inflorescence. The upper lip of the corolla is helmet-shaped, straight, or crescent-shaped. There are two stamens. The flowers have a unique adaptation for cross-pollination. The fruit consists of four nutlets.
The approximately 700 species occur throughout the world, primarily in the subtropics and tropics. The USSR has about 80 species, growing mainly on dry mountain slopes. The most common species is garden sage (S. officinalis), a usually violet-flowered subshrub that grows in the Mediterranean region. In the USSR it is cultivated for medicinal and culinary purposes in Moldavia, the southern Ukraine, and Krasnodar Krai. The leaves contain essential oil, alkaloids, and tanning substances; they are used as a flavoring in the production of liqueurs and spirits and in the fish canning industry. A tincture of leaves is used medicinally as an astringent or anti-inflammatory rinse to treat inflammations of the mouth, pharynx, and larynx. Clary (S. sclarea), a perennial with pinkish lilac flowers, grows in the southern Ukraine, the Crimea, the Caucasus, and Middle Asia. It is cultivated for the essential oil contained in the inflorescences; the oil is used by the pharmaceutical, distilling, confectionery, and tobacco industries. Many species, including scarlet sage (S. splendens), S. coccinea, and garden sage, are cultivated as ornamentals.
REFERENCESPobedimova, E. G. “Rod Shalfei-Salvia L.” In Flora SSSR, vol. 21. Moscow-Leningrad, 1954.
Atlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.
T. V. EGOROVA