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Salvia officinalis 'Icterina' (Golden variegated sage, Common sage, Culinary sage)

Salvia officinalis 'Icterina' Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais


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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Salvia officinalis 'Icterina' SAL-vee-ah oh-fi-shi-NAH-lis Common Name: Golden variegated sage, Common sage, Culinary sage Genus: Salvia
Cooks and gardeners alike are indebted to this evergreen perennial for the unique, pungent flavor and aroma that its gray-green leaves produce. This charming cultivar has green leaves with irregular yellow margins. It forms a 1.5- to 2-foot-tall and wide bush with woody stems that may be trimmed back to newly emerging growth or strong stems in spring. In early to mid-summer, it occasionally sends up lavender-purple flower spikes; it has both ornamental and culinary qualities in an herb garden. It tolerates alkaline soils, but not wet winter conditions.
Noteworthy characteristics: Attracts butterflies.
Care: Provide moist but well-drained soil in full sun. This species tolerates alkaline soil.
Propagation: Divide in spring. Take cuttings spring through fall.
Problems: Powdery mildew, rust, stem rot, fungal leaf spots, whiteflies, aphids, mealybugs, spider mites.
Height 1 ft. to 3 ft.
Spread 1 ft. to 3 ft.
Growth Habit Clumps
Growth Pace Moderate Grower
Light Full Sun Only
Moisture Dry to Medium
Maintenance Low
Tolerance Deer Tolerant;Drought Tolerant;Frost Tolerant
Characteristics Attracts Butterflies; Fragrant Foliage; Showy Flowers; Showy Foliage
Bloom Time Early Summer; Summer
Foliage Color Variegated Foliage
Flower Color Purple/ Lavender Flower
Uses Beds and Borders, Ground Covers, Cut Flower, Dried Flower
Style Herb Garden, Cottage Garden, Rock Garden, Xeric Bed
Seasonal Interest Spring Interest, Summer Interest, Fall Interest
Type Perennials

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(Common sage, Culinary sage, Purple sage)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Cooks and gardeners alike are indebted to this evergreen perennial for the unique, pungent flavor and aroma that its gray-green leaves produce. This cultivar has leaves suffused with steely-gray purple. It forms a 1.5-foot-tall and wide bush with woody stems that may be trimmed back to newly emerging growth or strong stems in spring. In early to mid-summer, it sends up lavender-purple flower spikes; it has both ornamental and culinary qualities in an herb garden. It tolerates alkaline soils, but cannot survive wet winter conditions.

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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Cooks and gardeners alike are indebted to this evergreen perennial for the unique, pungent flavor and aroma that its gray-green leaves produce. This cultivar has ornamental value, too—green leaves with white margins which are suffused with pink or purple. It forms a 1- to 1.5-foot-tall and wide bush with woody stems that may be trimmed back to newly emerging growth or strong stems in spring. In early to mid-summer, it sends up lavender-purple flower spikes; it has both ornamental and culinary qualities in an herb garden. It is tolerant of alkaline soils, but cannot survive wet winter conditions.

Salvia officinalis Salvia officinalis
(Common sage, Culinary sage, Purple sage)
Be the first to rate this plant
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Cooks and gardeners alike are indebted to this classic, evergreen perennial for the unique, pungent flavor and aroma that its gray-green leaves produce. It forms a 2.5-foot-tall by 3-foot-wide bush with woody stems that may be trimmed back to newly emerging growth or strong stems in spring. In early to mid-summer, it sends up lavender-purple flower spikes; it has both ornamental and culinary qualities in an herb garden. It tolerates alkaline soils, but not wet winter conditions.

Salvia officinalis 'Berggarten' Salvia officinalis 'Berggarten'
(Common sage, Culinary sage, Purple sage)
Be the first to rate this plant
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Cooks and gardeners alike are indebted to this evergreen perennial for the unique, pungent flavor and aroma that its gray-green leaves produce. S. 'Berggarten' is more compact than the species, forming a 2-foot tall by 3-foot wide bush with woody stems that may be trimmed back to newly emerging growth or strong stems in spring. In early to mid-summer, it sends up purple flower spikes. It boasts attractively rounded leaves and, like the species, has both ornamental and culinary qualities in an herb garden. It tolerates alkaline soils, but not wet winter conditions.

Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna' Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This drought-tolerant perennial is noted for its vivid indigo flowers along deep purple-black stems, which gives it a bicolor appearance. It blooms in early summer and then sporadically if spent flowers are deadheaded. It forms an upright clump, with the flower spikes rising to 2 feet in height; its wrinkled, softly hairy leaves form a mound 1 foot high. Plants spread 1 or 2 feet wide. These are some of the showiest plants for containers and mixed borders. Butterflies love them.