The genus Salvia L. (Lamiaceae) encompasses about 1000 species, approximately two thirds of which are in the New World. Bees and birds are known as pollinators, but a more detailed analysis of the pollinator groups is lacking. This paper presents a complete list of all currently accepted New World Salvia species and their classification according to their pollination syndromes, focusing particularly on bird-pollinated species. The concept of pollination syndromes is used and complemented by field investigations, morphometric measurements, and experiments to reconstruct the process of pollen transfer and to confirm the fitting or exclusion of a given pollinator group. Within the 602 New World Salvia species, 58% are identified to be melittophilous (bee pollinated) and 31% to be ornithophilous (bird pollinated). Salvia whitehousei Alziar is assumed to be psychophilous (butterfly pollinated/long-tongued fly pollinated). About 11% of the species show characters of two or more syndromes and eight species are not assignable to any group. Bird-pollinated Salvia species occur from North America southward to Chile and Argentina. They usually grow as shrubs or perennial herbs (97%) and have red flowers (at least 49%) of an average size of 34 mm (7–130 mm). With respect to their floral diversity and phylogeny, parallel evolution is evident.
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