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SALVIA officinalis 'Berggarten'

Image of Salvia officinalis 'Berggarten'

Environmental Horticulture Dept. University of Florida



Botanical Name

SALVIA officinalis 'Berggarten'

Plant Common Name

Berggarten Sage, Culinary Sage

General Description

The extra broad, felty leaves of 'Berggarten' sage have a bolder look and sharper, soapier taste than the leaves of standard culinary sage. Its semi-evergreen foliage adds color and interest to flower borders and containers as well as herb gardens. The Berggarten is a royal heritage garden located in the grand Herrenhausen Gardens of Hanover, Germany.

Whether used to flavor sausage, Thanksgiving stuffing or butter for pasta, sage is a favorite herb in western cooking. This semi-woody perennial is an age old culinary herb has been used to flavor foods in home gardens for centuries. Other historical references include it as an ingredient for medicinal teas and poultices during The Middle Ages. It is native to Europe and northern Africa where it naturally grows in Mediterranean chaparral shrub lands and open areas.

Garden sage is a bushy plant that produces long, soft, gray-green leaves that are evergreen to semi-evergreen and fragrant when lightly rubbed. Like most aromatic herbs, the aroma comes from glandular hairs filled with aromatic oil. These oil-filled hairs are found just along the surface of the leaves and are called trichomes. In late spring to early summer upright stems of two-lipped, lilac-blue flowers appear. These are subtly attractive, lightly fragrant and particularly attractive to bees. Cut the spent stems to maintain a neat appearance and encourage new leaf development. Garden sage will not rebloom, even if deadheaded.

This perennial herb is a joy to grow because it is pretty, functional and easy. It requires full sun and very well-drained soil. Excessive moisture at the root zone can lead to root rot. Avoid mulching it too. Once established, sage is very drought tolerant and will thrive where growing conditions drier, though it will also flourish in areas with regular rain if provided sharply drained soil and high light.

Harvest sage leaves year round for culinary purposes. They may be eaten fresh or stems can be hung upside down to dry and stored for later use. Sage also doubles as a resilient garden ornamental. The eye-catching foliage of ‘Tricolor’ makes it a gorgeous addition to mixed container compositions, herb gardens, and well-drained mixed borders.


  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type


  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    18"-24" / 45.7cm - 61.0cm

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Europe, Mediterranean, Northern Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate


  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest


  • Flower Color

    Light Blue, Blue Violet

  • Fruit Color


  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Light Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Light Green, Gray Green

  • Bark Color


  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Fruit


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Flower Petal Number


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Foliage Texture


  • Foliage Sheen


  • Evergreen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Self-Sowing