The ancient Romans derived this genus name from the Latin salvere
, "to heal," in reference to its highly regarded potency in remedying colds and other bodily ailments. The medicinal reputation of Salvias continued to expand throughout the Middle Ages. It also reportedly prolonged life, expanded the memory, and increased wisdom.
Members of the mint family, many Salvias are covered with oil glands that can emit a strong fragrance almost identical to that of other plants--often fruits such as pineapple and grapefruit.
A few species of Salvia possess that rarest of flower colors: rich, true blue. The red-flowered Salvias, with their tubular flower structure, are native to the New World and beloved by the hummingbird.
Salvias are known for their aromatic, attractive foliage in many different sizes, shapes, and hues, as well as for their bold, colorful blooms that flower over a long period. Heat and drought tolerant and loved by hummingbirds. Flowers are long-lasting and plants readily rebloom if deadheaded or if sheared back after flowering.