Salvia baccifera Etl.
Salvia clusii Jacq.
Salvia cypria Unger & Kotschy
Salvia incarnata Etl.
Salvia libanotica Boiss. & Gaill.
Salvia lobryana Azn.
Salvia marrubioides Vahl
Salvia ovata F.Dietr.
Salvia sipylea Lam.
Salvia subtriloba Schrank
Salvia sypilea Lam.
Salvia thomasii Lacaita
Salvia triloba L.f.
Sclarea triloba (L.f.) Raf.
Common Name: Greek Sage
Salvia fruticosa is a much-branched, evergreen shrub that can grow up to 100cm tall and wide.
A popular domestic herb, the plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. It is frequently used as an adulterant for sage (Salvia officinalis) and is cultivated for its leaves and essential oil in several Mediterranean countries. It is also harvested on a commercial basis from the wild in Turkey and Lebanon[
]. The plant is also grown as a herb and ornamental in gardens[
Central and eastern Mediterranean - Italy, Libya, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Israel
Dry rocky hillsides, sometimes forming small pure stands[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
A plant of the Mediterranean region, Salvia fruticosa is not very cold-hardy, being able to tolerate short periods with temperatures falling to around -7°c so long as the soil is well-drained[
]. Plants can be killed by excessive winter wet[
Requires a very well-drained light sandy soil in a sunny position[
]. Prefers a rich soil[
]. Soils rich in nitrogen encourage excessive leaf growth at the expense of flowering[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
The leaves are used as a spice or as an adulterant of sage (Salvia officinalis)[
]. Somewhat inferior in quality to sage as a flavouring, but it is easier to grow indoors[
]. The leaves make up 50 - 95% of commercially dried sage leaves[
A fragrant tea, called 'fascomiglia' is made by infusing the leaves[
In its native habitat, the plant frequently develops woolly galls that can vary from 1 - 3cm or more in diameter. The insect causing these galls is probably only native to the Middle East. When young and still green, these galls are very fragrant, juicy and tasty. Considered to be a healthy and delicious treat, local people often peel and eat them while they are still soft[
]. The galls are very likely to still contain the developing insects[
The leaves are antihydrotic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cholagogue, depurative, expectorant, febrifuge, haemostatic, spasmolytic stimulant, tonic and vasodilator[
]. They are used internally in the treatment of digestive and respiratory complaints, menstrual problems, infertility, nervous tension and depression[
This remedy should not be prescribed to pregnant women[
The leaves can be harvested as required and used fresh, or they can be harvested before the flowers open and dried or distilled for their essential oil[
The essential oil is used in the treatment of intestinal complaints and toothache[
The flowers are very attractive to bees, providing a good source of nectar[
An essential oil obtained from the leaves is used to adulterate spike lavender oil (obtained from Lavandula latifolia)[
An essential oil obtained from the leaves is used as an ingredient in commercial cosmetic preparations as an antidandruff agent, antimicrobial, antiplaque, flavouring and masking agent[
An extract of the leaves is used as an ingredient in commercial cosmetic preparations as an antimicrobial, astringent and in oral care[
Seed - sow early to mid spring in a greenhouse[
]. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in early summer. In areas where the plant is towards the limits of its hardiness, it is best to grow the plants on in a greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in late spring of the following year.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood succeed at almost any time in the growing season[