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Sage is a woody subshrub with silvery green leaves and pale purple flowers that are attractive to butterflies and other pollinators. It does best in well-drained, sunny locations. For centuries, sage has been a popular herb for cooking, and is also used as an essential oil.

Latin Name

Salvia officinalis



Type of Plant

Herbs Herbs
Perennials Perennials

Bloom Season



Spring Spring
Summer Summer
Fall Fall


Max height Max Height: 2.5'
Max spread Max Spread: 2.5'


  • Edible
  • Herb

  • Sunlight Exposure

    Full Sun Full Sun


  • Deer
  • Drought
  • Dry Soil
  • Shallow-Rocky Soil

  • Attracted Wildlife

    Butterflies Butterflies


    Native Range

    Mediterranean and northern Africa


    Sage was an important kitchen herb and featured in the gardens of many of Washington's contemporaries, including the Moravians at Bethabara and Thomas Jefferson.

    Other Details

    Pollinator Pollinator

    Planted at Mount Vernon

    Planted at Mount Vernon Lower Garden

  • Lower Garden

  • Hardiness Zones

    4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b 8a 8b USDA basemap

    Average annual extreme minimum temperature 1976-2005

    map legend 4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b 8a 8b

    Bartlett Tree Expert Company has been working with Mount Vernon Estate since 2011 providing expert arboricultural care and GPS mapping for the estate’s historic trees, as well as support from their research facility.   Mount Vernon is proud to partner with Bartlett Tree Experts and appreciates their sponsorship of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Plant Finder App.

    Bring Washington's Garden Home

    Purchase our historic seeds, collected from plants grown at Mount Vernon and plant them in your own garden.

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