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Green Sage Vs White Sage [Striking Similarities & Differences]

Although green sage and white sage are connected with each other by their families and genera, you must know one vs another to fit them according to your needs.

Generally, green sage and white sage bear similar families and genera, but both herbs have different appearances, aromatic properties, tastes, culinary uses, cultural significance, availability, etc.

Although both herbs bear similar medicinal value, people use white sages mostly in cultural and spiritual works rather than medicine.

So, go through this entire article to know more potential differences between the similar-looking herbs, white sage and green sage.

Green Sage & White Sage [Similarities]

Both green sage and white sage share a similar family, Lamiaceae, which is also known as the mint family. Similarly, both belong to the same genus, Salvia.

Green Sage on the left vs White Sage on the right
Green Sage have velvety leaves, unlike White Sage with smooth ones.

Moreover, both are herbaceous plants used to enhance the flavor of various dishes like meats, vegetables, soups, and stews.

  • Both varieties bear silver-green colored leaves and purplish blossoms.
  • Also, the leaf margins are crenate in both varieties.
  • When you smell both varieties, you can feel the strong and pungent scent.
  • The flavor is also similar, as both have bitter and earthy taste.
  • Both varieties possess various medicinal benefits like anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties.
  • Moreover, both varieties have traditional benefits, as people used both in ancient healing practices.
  • Additionally, both sage types boast spiritual and ceremonial values in different rituals.
  • You can harvest the blossoms and leaves and dry them for various purposes.
  • Both herbs are susceptible to pests like mites, beetles, slugs, etc, and diseases like leaf spots, chlorosis, root rot, etc.

Use appropriate pesticides or fungicides and neem oil to protect both plants from pests and diseases.

Green Sage Vs White Sage [Differences]

Although both green sage and white sage belong to the same family and genus, both are different species. The botanical name of green sage is Salvia officinalis, while white sage is Salvia apiana.

Additionally, Green Sage is native to the Mediterranean region, whereas the origin of white sage is in Northern and Southern California.

1. Appearance

The leaves of green sage are generally smaller and narrower, with a size ranging about 1-2 inches. The width of the leaves reaches about 0.5-1 inch.

In contrast, white sage has bigger leaves with a size of 3-9 inches. Also, the leaf width ranges from about 1-3 inches.

The texture of the green sage leaves is velvety and soft, whereas white sage bears smooth and non-hairy leaves.

2. Aromatic Properties

Although you can smell similar fragrance in both varieties, both white sage and green sage bears different Aromatic properties. Green sage has a herbaceous and milder fragrance.

In contrast, the fragrance of all parts of white sage, including leaves, stems, and flowers is pungent and more intense than green sage.

3. Taste

When you taste the parts of green sage and white sage, you can find similar earthy vibes. However, green sage tastes more herbaceous and a little sweeter.

Meanwhile, the flavor of all parts of White Sage is more bitter and earthy than green sage. You cannot find the sweetness like green sage if you taste white sage.

4. Culinary Uses

Due to the milder and sweeter taste with herbaceous flavor, green sage can be a versatile addition to many culinary dishes like meats, soups, stews, vegetables, salads, etc.

In contrast, white sage can be overpowering to dishes and is mostly used in food items like fatty meats, stuffing, root vegetables, etc.

5. Cultural Significance

Green sage is a popular herb with great cultural value in different European cultures, whereas white sage has great spiritual significance in various American tribes.

Moreover, green sage is the herb associated with the Virgin Mary and is also used in folk magics.

In contrast, white sage is often associated with the creator and is used to remove the negative energy and traditional healing practices.

6. Availablity

Green sage is widely available as people grow this herb in many parts of the world. You can find this herb in many herb stores, department stores, and grocery stores.

Meanwhile, white sage is a sacred herb for Native Americans and is mostly useful for indigenous people of America. So, this herb is not widely available, and people sell it in special gift shops only.

From Editorial Team

Green Sage Vs. White Sage: What To Choose?

As White Sage is the sacred herb for Western America, most American has overharvested this herb in recent years. It is also difficult to find and unsustainable to use.

Meanwhile, green sage is more sustainable than White Sage as people are not overharvesting it. Also, the price of green sage is also more affordable than white sage.