This green herb is native to the Mediterranean. Its name comes from the Latin word salvus, which means “safe” – a reference to the herb’s believed healing powers.
Common garden sage is grayish-green in color with narrow, oval leaves with a pebble-like surface. They have a pungent mint-like smell and taste. There are numerous varieties of the herb; some are for cooking with while others are ornamental. Varieties include Curly, Minima, Dwarf, Tricolor, Pineapple and White Edge. Pineapple sage has a strong pineapple smell while White Edge has a creamy color splashed on the green leaves.
Although fresh is only available during the late summer and fall, dried whole, crumbled or powdered sage is available all year round.