The ornamental sages are often popularly called salvia. Of these the scarlet sage ( S. splendens ), native to Brazil, is best known. Clary ( S. sclarea ), native from the Mediterranean region to Iran, is a biennial sage whose seeds were once used to
clear the eye ; it has bluish or pinkish flowers, and its oil is sometimes used similarly to that of the common sage.
The seeds of some species of W North America, e.g., the thistle sage ( S. carduacea ) of California, were used by Native Americans for a flour and a beverage. Another species is S. carnosa, the purple sage of the western deserts. S. divinorum, native to S Mexico and known as diviner's sage or magic mint, has psychoactive properties and is used as a hallucinogenic drug. Most sages are good honey plants.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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