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Ornamental sage belongs to the mint family and is known by various names that are intended to distinguish it from common sage (Salvia officinalis), the medicinal plant. Both types of sage are related to each other, but can the ornamental shrub also be eaten?

The ornamental sage is not edible for humans

The appearance of ornamental sage

Ornamental sage is represented by many species. Some examples are

  • the steppe sage or flower sage with white flowers
  • the steppe sage with blue-violet flowers
  • the unpleasant-smelling marsh sage
  • the blood sage with fiery red flowers

All these ornamental sage species are worthy representatives in the perennial garden and create a pretty overall picture next to daisies or other half-height perennials. They are easy to care for, grow relatively bushy and some species can reach a height of up to one meter. The first panicles of flowers open in June, and the entire flowering period extends into September. The perennial ornamental sage varieties lose their leaves in autumn.

Edible or not?

The ornamental sage is an eye-catcher in every perennial border, some varieties even spread a pleasant scent in the garden, but it is not suitable for consumption. However, it is not poisonous and can therefore be safely planted in a garden where children play.
Ornamental sage is often also offered under the name "flower sage" to immediately draw attention to the difference to real sage. Although the plant is inedible for humans, the flower nectar of ornamental sage is a valuable food source for bees, bumblebees and other insects.
If you want to cook with sage or prepare health teas, you have to use the real sage bot. Salvia officinalis, select.

real sage

In contrast to ornamental sage, real sage is evergreen. Although some leaves dry up in winter, most leaves remain. Salvia officinalis is a medicinal plant that has been known since ancient times. It is still used today for sage tea and is used in the kitchen as a spice for roasts and stews.
Common sage is cultivated in many gardens, but it also thrives in pots on the windowsill. Its flower is similar to that of ornamental sage, but it also forms long, delicate purple panicles. The velvety, finely hairy leaves can be dried to make tea.

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