Cooking sage is native to the Mediterranean region, other varieties worldwide
Woody shrubs with hairy leaves and purple flowers
The scent of sage, and other plants in the mint family, is primarily a defense mechanism. When the plant is touched, little oil sacs underneath the leaf rupture and release what we think of as a pleasant fragrance. However, deer, rabbits, and other grazing animals think it smells foul, and leave the plant alone. Of course they will still eat it if they are hungry and nothing else is around. It is easier to deal with than thorns, or plants that have other, stronger defense mechanisms.