Sages in the Virtual Garden Tour at the Ohlone College Newark Center

The sage or Salvia genus is a group of almost a thousand species that are also part of the larger mint family, Lamiacaea. Sages are found in the wild all over the world, especially around the Mediterranean Sea and in Central America. Sages are cultivated by humans for medicinal, culinary, and ornamental purposes. Sage plants are often highly aromatic, and the leaves and flowers are highly varied between and even within species. Many species hybridize easily with each other, leading to hundreds of different varieties.

In addition to providing health benefits, pleasant scents, and beauty, many species in the Salvia genus are adapted to conditions that other popular garden plants do not do well in, such as droughts and poor soil. These growing conditions are common in California and specifically on this campus. With this in mind, the Newark salvia garden has been planted with almost thirty different species of sage and several other easy-to-grow and drought-resistant species. Almost half of the sages are species native to California.