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Genus Salvia Family Lamiaceae

Description: Annual or perennial herb, rarely a shrub; branches ± covered with simple hairs, sessile glands often present.

Leaves opposite, margins entire, or crenate to deeply lobed; petiolate.

Inflorescence often reduced to 1 or 2 flowers per leaf- or bract axil; internodes usually visible. Sepals unequally fused, 2-lipped; lower lip deeply 2-lobed; upper lip 3-lobed, rarely only 1 broad lobe. Corolla 2-lipped; lower lip 3-lobed, with median lobe broad and 2 lateral lobes narrow; upper lip erect, ± hooded, scarcely 2-lobed. Stamens 2 fertile; loculi separated by elongated connective, 1 loculus ± sterile. Staminodes 2, minute, sometimes absent. Ovary deeply 4-lobed; style gynobasic; stigma unequally 2-fid.

Mericarps usually obovoid, scarcely keeled.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 700 species, tropical to temperate regions. Australia: 6 species (1 species native, 5 species naturalized), all States except N.T.

Text by B. J. Conn
Taxon concept:

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Salvia microphylla,    Salvia splendens

 Key to the species 
1Branches, inflorescence and, at least lower surface of leaves woolly; corolla white2
Branches, inflorescence and leaves with short or long, spreading, retrorse or antrorse hairs; indumentum never woolly3
2Petioles 3–7 cm long; leaves with lamina 5–12 cm wide with margins deeply and irregularly toothed; inflorescence much-branched; bracts stiff and spinescent, persistent in fruitSalvia aethiopis
Petioles 1–2 cm long; leaves with lamina 0.7–2 cm wide with margins finely crenate; inflorescence unbranched; bracts soft, not spinescent, not persistent in fruit
                       Back to 1
Salvia leucantha
3Branches with short, simple retrorse hairs and long, multicellular more or less spreading hairs; lamina base truncate or cordate4
Branches with short, simple retrorse hairs only; lamina base cuneate to tapering
                       Back to 1
5
4Corolla red, rarely pink; margins of leaves crenate or toothedSalvia coccinea
Corolla blue-purple to lilac; margins of leaves pinnatifid to pinnatisect or incised
                       Back to 3
Salvia verbenaca
5Leaves with margins crenate; inflorescence usually much-branched; corolla 3.5–5 mm longSalvia plebeia
Leaves with margins almost entire, with shallow distant teeth; inflorescence unbranched; corolla 7–10 mm long
                       Back to 3
Salvia reflexa

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