Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Salvia lyrata L.
Lyreleaf sage, Cancer weed
Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
Lyreleaf sage is a strictly upright, hairy perennial,
1-2 ft. tall with a rosette
of leaves at the base. The leaves are deeply 3-lobed, with a few simple
leaves higher up on the stem. Large basal leaves are purple-tinged in the winter. This species has the typical square stem
and 2-lipped blossom of the mints. Its pale-blue to violet, tubular flowers are arranged in whorls around the stem
forming an interrupted, terminal spike. Each blossom is about 1 inch long. The 2-lobed lower lip is much longer than the upper, which has 3 lobes, the middle one forming a sort of hood. The sepals
Lyreleaf sage makes a great evergreen
groundcover, with somewhat ajuga-like foliage and showy blue flowers in spring. It will reseed easily in loose, sandy soils and can form a solid cover with regular watering. It even takes mowing and can be walked on. The exposed lower lip of this and other salvias provides an excellent landing platform for bees. When a bee lands, the two stamens
are tipped, and the insect is doused with pollen.
Image Gallery: 18 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Retention: Evergreen Inflorescence: Raceme Size Notes:
1-2 feet. Leaf:
Dark green. In winter, veined with dark purple. Flower:
Flowers 1 inch long
Tan Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Blue , Violet
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: Pale blue to lavender to white in color. In Texas, blooms for 4 or 5 weeks in spring.
AL , AR , CT , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MD , MS , MO , NJ , NY , NC , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV , DC Native Distribution:
FL to e. TX, n. to NY, OH, MO, & KS. Eastern United States, Zones 6 to 9 Native Habitat:
Rich, rocky, open woods; alluvial areas; wet to dry meadows. Well-drained sand or loam. In Texas, found in sandy soils of open woods, meadows, and clearings in the eastern fourth of the state. USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Dry
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Drought Tolerance: Medium
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Acid or calcareous sands, loams, or clays, well-drained or not.
Conditions Comments: Tolerates periodic flooding and can take drought and overwatering.
An adaptable ground cover or perennial
flower that can be mowed and has attractive foliage and blooms. Use Wildlife:
Flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Conspicuous Flowers:
Hummingbirds , Butterflies Nectar Source: