Pollen grains of 30 taxa of the genus Salvia, belonging to sections Salvia, Horminum, Drymosphace, Plethiosphace and Hemisphace from Turkey were examined by light (LM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Detailed pollen morphological characteristics are provided for these taxa. Among the studied taxa, S. verticillata subsp. verticillata from sect. Hemisphace has the smallest pollen grains, and S. pachystachys from sect. Salvia possesses the largest ones. The basic shape of the pollen grains in most taxa is suboblate, oblate-spheroidal or prolate-spheroidal. However subprolate pollen grains are recorded for S. macrochlamys from sect. Salvia. The grains are hexacolpate in all taxa, but in S. recognita from sect. Salvia also octacolpate pollen was found. Three distinct exine sculpturing types exist, reticulate-perforate (the common type), reticulate-granulate and bireticulate. The reticulate-perforate and bireticulate sculpturing patterns can be divided into subtypes based on the number of perforations and the number of secondary lumina in each primary lumen. Pollen morphological characteristics of the taxa studied are compared and discussed on the basis of taxonomical concepts. In some cases, these characters are useful in distinguishing the sections. For instance, the presence of 1-2 large central secondary lumina per primary lumen is a significant character of sect. Horminum separating it from the other sections. As well, the presence of holes on colpus membrane ornamentation can be used as a diagnostic taxonomic character for sectional division between sect. Hemisphace and others. S. ballsiana from sect. Salvia is clearly distinct from the other taxa examined by its unique pollen morphology. Further, for several macromorphologically similar taxa pollen structures provide additional evidence to delimite them from each other. (C) 2010 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.