Abstract: The taxonomical relationship between Salvia pratensis and S. bertolonii has been unclear for a long time. Salvia bertolonii has alternatively been considered a synonym, a subspecies, a problematic subspecies and a form of Salvia pratensis. However, both these two species are sometimes used in traditional medicine instead of sage (Salvia officinalis) or as an adulteration for the same drug. In order to confirm the status of S. bertolonii, together with the potential identification characteristics for differentiation from sage, both taxa were analyzed through the analysis of their essential oils, together with the micromorphological characteristics of the leaf surface and the anatomy and morphology of the leaves. The obtained results show that there are clear differences in the quantity of essential oil (0.073% for S. pratensis and 0.0016% for S. berolonii). The major compound in the essential oil of S. pratensis was E-caryophyllene (26.4%) while in S. berolonii essential oil caryophyllene oxide was the major component (35.1%). The micromorphological differences are also pronounced in the leaf indumentum (density and distribution of certain types of non-glandular and glandular trichomes). Clear distinction between the investigated Salvia species is also observed in the leaf anatomy (in S. pratensis leaves are thinner, palisade tissue is made of 1-2 layers of cells, and leaves of S. bertolonii are characterized by 2-3 layers of palisade tissue cells, and consequently thicker).
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Anačkov, G.; Božin, B.; Zorić, L.; Vukov, D.; Mimica-Dukić, N.; Merkulov, L.; Igić, R.; Jovanović, M.; Boža, P. Chemical Composition of Essential Oil and Leaf Anatomy of Salvia bertolonii Vis. and Salvia pratensis L. (Sect. Plethiosphace, Lamiaceae). Molecules 2009, 14, 1-9.
Anačkov G, Božin B, Zorić L, Vukov D, Mimica-Dukić N, Merkulov L, Igić R, Jovanović M, Boža P. Chemical Composition of Essential Oil and Leaf Anatomy of Salvia bertolonii Vis. and Salvia pratensis L. (Sect. Plethiosphace, Lamiaceae). Molecules. 2009; 14(1):1-9.
Anačkov, Goran; Božin, Biljana; Zorić, Lana; Vukov, Dragana; Mimica-Dukić, Neda; Merkulov, Ljiljana; Igić, Ružica; Jovanović, Marina; Boža, Pal. 2009. "Chemical Composition of Essential Oil and Leaf Anatomy of Salvia bertolonii Vis. and Salvia pratensis L. (Sect. Plethiosphace, Lamiaceae)." Molecules 14, no. 1: 1-9.