Salvia spp.


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Salvia spp.

Botanical information

Salvia splendens: An annual plant, it grows to a height of 0.6m with a spread of 0.3m. The stems are erect and branching; the leaves are oval-acuminate and smooth, with crenate margins; the flowers are bright scarlet and tubular, occurring in long, terminal spikes and appearing in summer.

A native of Brazil, it prefers fertile, well drained soils in an open, sunny position, and is drought and frost tender.

Propagation is by seed sown in spring.

Traditional uses

None reported..


Salvia splendens: The presence of diterpenes (compare Salvia divinorum) has been documented, but little is known whether these are responsible for the mild activity. Daniel Siebert concluded from his controlled experiments that any activity is probably due to placebo effect. However the percentage of placebo was stated at well above scientifically accepted limits. Upon correction of this data, it appears that Salvia splendens is active in at least some proportion of trialled subjects. Those people who confirm activity also state that not all varieties are active. In our experience we found that Bonfire and Blaze of fire are active, while the multicoloured Sizzler series is not.

It took many years to confirm the validity of the psychoactive claims of Salvia divinorum, which was complicated by a number factors, including administration techniques (especially combustion temperature) and set & setting. Salvia divinorum is now generally accepted as a very strong and effective hallucinogen, even though there are still many people who fail to get effects from it. Salvia splendens has a much, much weaker effect and thus it is reasonable to assume that its effects will not be felt by everyone - possibly not even by the majority of subjects. This should however not discredit the many positive results people have obtained from it. Research on this and several other salvias continues.....

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