The sage plant family, or Salvia, contains over 600 species of culinary, aromatic and ornamental plants. They occur in most of the world's climate zones and provide residents of those areas with food, medicine and beauty. The tropics are home to many different varieties of sage--some of these have been introduced to gardens in the U.S. and other temperate climates, where they are typically grown as annuals.
Mexican and Central American Sages
Mexico and other countries in Central America are home to a number of sage species: Salvia chiapensis, S. cacaliaefolia (ivy leaf sage), S. divinorum, S. gesneraeflora, S. involucrata (rose leaf sage), S. iodantha (Mexican fuchsia sage), S. karwinskii, S. madrensis (forsythia sage), S. regla (mountain sage) and S. wagneriana.
South Africa hosts these sages: Salvia africana lutea or aurea (golden sage or beach sage); S. disermas, S. lanceolata, S. repens, S. scabra, S. stenophylla, S. radula and S. namaensis. S. nilotica occurs in other tropical parts of the African continent.
South American Sages
Salvia confertiflora (red velvet sage) and S. splendens are native to Brazil. S. macrophylla comes from Peru; S. coccinea "Brenthurst" and S. pauciserrata are from tropical areas throughout South America. S. sagittata is native to Ecuador.
Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Sages
Salvia dorisiana (peach sage) hails from Israel, Syria and Lebanon. Salvia argentea is native to Mediterranean regions and S. barrelieri occurs in southern Spain and North Africa. S. lanigera grows in Eastern Mediterranean areas. S. sclarea hails from Turkey. S. taraxacifolia and possibly S. tingitana are from Morocco.