Salvia divinorum grows wild in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. Specifically the Sierra Mazatecas. Salvia divinorum is also 1 of about 900 species of salvia. Salvia divinorum belongs to the genus Salvia, which most people know as sage. Obviously you can find these sages anywhere at a garden store near you but probably won't find salvia divinorum. The genus of salvia actually belongs to the mint family Lamiacae which also includes basil, mint, rosemary, savory, marjoram, oregano, thyme, lavender, and perilla. Salvia botanists continue to pop up out of the woodworks as salvia becomes more popular.

Salvia divinorum means diviner's sage. It is also known under a number of common names: shepherdess's herb, yerba de Maria, Sally-D, mint, sadi, Sally-D, Diviner's Mint, Diviner's Sage, Ska Pastora, and of course Lady Salvia. The salvia plant can reach up to 4 to 6 feet and is found in very humid and damp locations. Salvia Divinorums flowers will bloom sporadically between October and June and gives blue or white flowers. For more information on growing salvia plants and what type of climate is comfortable click here. This offers a great lesson on salvia botany and salvia growing.

Salvia divinorum was first introduced in 1938 when Jean B. Johnson wrote about Hierba Maria in his writings about the Mazatec shamans. In 1945, Blas P. Reko found the magical plant among the Cuicatecs and Mazatecs which produced visions, referred to as "leaves of prophecy." In 1957 Arturo Gomez-Pompa collected the plant while collecting mushrooms. This is when salvia divinorum was beginning to take its stance as a popular and interesting sage.

Propogation of salvia is something more difficult than many people may think. Salvia seeds are rarely viable and has about a 5% success rate. In the wild mountains of Oaxaca, the plant propagates by falling over and sending out its salvia roots where it touches the ground. In a very high humidity climate you will see that roots will form on the stem even before the plant has fallen over. This is why many botanists recommend using cuttings to propagate salvia and cultivate salvia. To learn more on growing the salvia plant click here

Most of the salvia plants you will find out there on the market have been propagated from two parent clones. The first was collected in 1962 by R. Gordon Wasson the "Wasson-Hofmann Strain", the second, called “Palatable” or the "Blosser Strain" was introduced by Brett Blosser in 1991. Salvia-expert Daniel Siebert has managed to grow a number of clones from seeds produced by both strains, but don't get your hopes up as it is nearly impossible to do. Click here to learn the best way to grow salvia.

Salvia botany can be very interesting, not to mention you will notice that much of the market is catered towards salvia extracts, which is another lesson in itself.