Salvia dominica, Salvia graveolens, Dominican Sage,
Hebrew: מרווה ריחנית, Arabic: Khowwekha, خويخة

Scientific name:  Salvia dominica L.
Synonym name:  Salvia graveolens Vahl
Common name:  Dominican Sage
Hebrew name:   מרווה ריחנית
Arabic name:  Khowwekha, خويخة
Family:  Labiatae / Lamiaceae, שפתניים

Το Ισραήλ αγριολούλουδα και ενδημικά φυτά

Life form:  Chamaephyte, semi-shrub
Stems:  Up to 100 cm high; stem, towards the root, suffruticose, erect, pubescent; branches and stem square
Leaves:  Opposite, entire, dentate or serrate
Flowers:  White flowers terminating, in whorls, peduncled
Fruits / pods:  Nutlets 4, glabrous ellipsoid to ± spherical
Flowering Period:   February, March, April, May
Habitat:   Batha, Phrygana
Distribution:   The Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Shrub-steppes, Deserts and extreme deserts
Chorotype:   Mediterranean
Summer shedding:  Perennating

Israel, Flora, Native plants, Palestine

Derivation of the botanical name:
Salvia, Latin salvere, to save, referring to the long-believed healing properties of salvia. Pliny the Elder was the first known to use the Latin name salvia.
dominica, island of Dominica, which means "belonging to the Lord."
graveolens, strong smelling; referring to the fragrant glands on the hairs covering the leaf, making it a more relevant epithet than dominica.
The Israeli botanists Dr. Ephraim and Hanah Hareuveni pointed out that the architecture of the vertical inflorescence of this species of Salvia resembles the shape of the Menorah, in particular—the Salvia Palaestina. Therefore, they suggested that it had inspired the design of the Menorah. Moreover, based on etymology perspectives they suggested that the Hebrew word “Marva, מרווה” (Salvia) was originated from the Hebrew word “Moriah” (the Temple Mount name), reflecting the connection between this plant and the Menorah, which was situated inside the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
  • The standard author abbreviation Vahl is used to indicate Martin Henrichsen Vahl (1749 – 1804), a Danish-Norwegian botanist and zoologist.
In Israel the branched inflorescence of the Salvia dominica is one of the several salvias thought to have inspired the design of the menorah, seven-branched candelabra, or lampstand.

Bible Resources:
  1. Exodus 37:17
    The Lampstand
    They made the lampstand of pure gold. They hammered out its base and shaft, and made its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms of one piece with them.

    Salvia dominica, Salvia graveolens, Dominican Sage, , Khowwekha, خويخةמרווה ריחנית

    פרחים וצמחי בר בארץ ישראל

    Salvia dominica, Salvia graveolens, Dominican Sage, מרווה ריחנית, Khowwekha, خويخة