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SAGE is a member of the Lamiaceae family.  The Lamiaceae family consists of over 7,000 species of plants including aromatic culinary herbs like sage, basil, mint, oregano, lavender, rosemary, savory, marjoram and thyme.  

The original family name was Labiata derived from Latin "labia," describing how their flower petals are fused into an upper lip and lower lip.


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Whenever I see SALVIA plants growing along the paths, I try to photograph their delicate, colorful flowers.  Salvia is the largest genus of plants in the Mint family with about 1,000 species of perennials, annuals and shrubs.  They are native to Central & South America, Eastern & Central Asia and around the Mediterranean. 


Salvia is one of several genera commonly known as sage.  Some species of salvia are used in herbal medicine, ceremonial rituals and cooking.



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Interesting Notes:

Scientists uncovered evidence of Salvia (i.e. Judean Sage) and Mint plants under Natufian skeletons in Northern Israel's Raqefet Cave.  It was considered the earliest evidence of using flower beds for burial more than 12,000 years ago.

Salvia Apiana (or White Sage) is sacred to a number of Native Americans and used in their ceremonies.

Salvia Hispanica (or Chia) produces edible seeds high in Omega-3 fatty acid and protein.

Salvia Officinalis (or Common Sage) is widely used in herbal medicine and in cooking.  Salvia Fruticosa (or Greek Sage) is also used as an alternative to Common Sage.

Chinese Salvia Miltiorrhiza (or Red Sage) is used in herbal medicine.

Mexican Salvia Divinorum (or Diviner's Sage) is sometimes used by Mazatec shamans for its psychedelic visionary drug effects.


                                                           


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