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

 Native Plant Database

Salvia farinacea

Mealy blue sage, Mealy sage, Mealycup sage

Lamiaceae (Mint Family)

Salvia farinacea (Mealy blue sage)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy
This 2-3 ft. upright or sprawling perennial, usually forms a mound as wide as the plant is tall. Mealy sage is named for the mealy-white (sometimes purple) appearance of the sepals, which are covered with felted hairs. The blue flowers are 5-lobed and 2-lipped, 2/33/4 inch long, with 2 stamens and 1 pistil. They have the usual sage fragrance. The long, narrow leaves grow in clusters, out of which grow the flower stems. The leaves may or may not have teeth. Dark-blue to white, tubular flowers are densely congested in whorls along the upper stems, creating a 3-9 in. spike. Gray-green, lance-shaped leaves are numerous, especially in the lower portion of the plant.

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: 2-3
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: CT , FL , LA , NM , OH , OK , TX
Native Distribution: C. & w. TX & NM
Native Habitat: Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs, Woodlands edge, Opening, Dry calcalreous substrates

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Limestone soils. Calcareous, Limestone-based, Caliche type, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay.
Conditions Comments: Mealy blue sage grows well in perennial borders and wildflower meadows. The foliage is aromatic and deer resistant. When new basal foliage appears, cut the old flower stems to keep the plants lush. Will bloom off and on throughout the summer. Butterflies and hummingbirds enjoy the nectar. Mealy blue sage provides an attractive mass of color in beds, borders and naturalized areas. Wet soil will make the plant leggy and weak.


Use Ornamental: It is an excellent plant for a flower bed, and is often planted in groupings to create an attractive mass of color. The leaves have a grayish cast which make a good contrast to lush green foliage of other plants. It is a good plant for a rock garden. Showy, Blooms ornamental, Mass planting, Perennial garden.
Use Wildlife: Nectar-Hummingbirds, Nectar-Bees
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
Attracts: Hummingbirds , Butterflies
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High

Last Update: 2016-04-03