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Marcus, Joseph A.
Salvia azurea var. grandiflora
Salvia azurea Michx. ex Lam. var. grandiflora Benth.
Pitcher sage, Blue sage
Synonym(s): Salvia azurea ssp. intermedia, Salvia azurea ssp. pitcheri, Salvia pitcheri
USDA Symbol: saazg
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
The slender, arching stems of blue sage grow 3-5 ft. long and are topped by fountains of clear-blue, tubular flowers. The stems, which grow in clumps up to 3 ft. wide, are well covered with downy, linear leaves.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Size Notes:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Sep , Oct , Nov
, WI Native Distribution: IL
to e. NE,
& TX Native Habitat:
Dry prairies & openings. Dry prairies, oak-cedar hills, flats and openings throughout most of Texas.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Dry, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: If grown with too much moisture, fertilizer and/or shade, this plant tends to become floppy. It competes well with grass and can be mowed periodically. Blue sage blooms in the fall. The sky blue flowers are striking when growing near flame acanthus, palafoxia, or Maximillian sunflower. Cut pitcher sage back in early summer to keep it compact or stake it if you want the height.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Hummingbirds and butterflies love this plant.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies , Hummingbirds
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: Minimal
PropagationDescription: Blue salvia can be propagated by seed or cuttings, but the easiest method is division of clumps. Cutting should be taken in mid-summer after the plant has hardened. Sow seeds as soon as they ripen or in early spring.
Seed Collection: Collect the seeds as the capsules begin to dry but before they have dropped the seeds. Spread seeds in thin layers to dry a few days before storing in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Seed Treatment: No treatment is required for germination.
Commercially Avail: yes
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0725
Collected Aug 17, 1992 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe
Record Last Modified: 2012-12-09
Research By: TWC Staff, LAL