Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Salvia coccinea

Scarlet Sage, Tropical Sage, Blood sage, Red Sage, Indian Fire

Lamiaceae (Mint Family)

Salvia coccinea (Scarlet sage)
Page, Lee
Several whorls of red flowers form an interrupted spike on a square stem.

This showy southern native is characterized by the loose, widely spaced nature of the flowering spike. It is found in the hot sands of the South. The flamboyant, cultivated member of this group, Scarlet Sage (S. splendens), was introduced from Brazil.

Image Gallery:

54 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual , Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Red , Pink
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AL , FL , GA , HI , LA , MS , OH , SC , TX
Native Distribution: Coastal; South Carolina to Florida; west to Texas.
Native Habitat: In sandy soils in thickets, chaparral, in open woods and edges in east and south Texas.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Dry
Soil Description: Caliche type, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Scarlet sage reseeds easily and will grow in the shade. It has pungent foliage that makes it fairly deer resistant. Periodically trim and deadhead to keep it bushy.


Use Ornamental: Easily grown, Blooms ornamental, Color, Perennial garden
Use Wildlife: Nectar-Hummingbirds, Nectar-Bees, Nectar-insects
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Hummingbirds , Butterflies
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High

Last Update: 2016-04-03