Salvia - or sage's botanical name. G has a small home business, Smartyplants, growing salvias to sell in local plant sales. Many of our travels have involved either visiting nurseries to see what salvias they sell or trying to find salvias in the wild. I remember searching out Mara Nursery in New Zealand and spending a lovely afternoon having lunch with the owners.
Salvias grow through out the world. We found several species in the wild on our trip in Africa. They also grow in the US. We came across Salvia funerea totally unexpectedly while hiking in a canyon in Death Valley in 2005.
Southern California is another prime region for wild salvias and we hope to find some on our trip this week. Saliva apiana and Saliva mellifera grow in the chaparral of the South Coast. In Anza-Borrego, you can find Salvia vaseyi. I found a great site by Tom Chester which has a lot of details on the plants of Southern California. I really like his plant lists for trails of the area.
We are going to stop at the Santa Rosa plateau on the way from Ontario to Anza-Borrego. Tom has a listing of plants on the Vernal Pools and several salvias are to found. We are planning on stopping since it is on the way and we will have time.