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Salvia azurea (Pitcher sage)
Cressler, Alan

Salvia azurea

Salvia azurea Michx. ex Lam.

Pitcher Sage, Big Blue Sage, Azure Sage, Giant Blue Sage, Blue Sage

Lamiaceae (Mint Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A tall, delicate plant with large, 2-lipped, blue flowers, whorled around the square stem and forming a terminal spike-like cluster.

A widespread perennial of the grasslands, it also extends east to the Carolinas. It begins to flower early and may continue until fall, or into early winter in Florida.


From the Image Gallery

17 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 5 feet tall.
Flower: Flower 1 inch.
Fruit: Nutlets.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Blue
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


USA: AL , AR , CO , CT , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MI , MO , MS , NC , NE , NM , NY , OH , OK , SC , TN , TX , UT , WI
Native Distribution: North Carolina south to Florida; west to Texas; north to Nebraska and Minnesota.
Native Habitat: Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannas, Woodlands' edge, Opening

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay


Use Ornamental: Perennial garden, Shortgrass meadow
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Bumble Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Propagation Material: Seeds

Find Seed or Plants

Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Native flowers for Door County, Wisconsin
September 02, 2009
We recently were required to put in a new septic system on our vacation property in Door County, WI. This left us with a clearing on our wooded lot where the septic field is now located. The installer...
view the full question and answer

Possibly escaped non-native Buddleja davidii in Missouri
March 15, 2006
About 3 years ago my wife and I were traveling thru southeastern Missouri and stopped at a road side rest station on Interstate 44. While we were there we noticed a shrub about 4 to 5 feet tall with p...
view the full question and answer

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 281 - Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (1999) Diggs, G. M.; B. L. Lipscomb; B. O'Kennon; W. F...
Bibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 57 - Atlas of Florida Plants (2020) Institute for Systematic Botany
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Research Literature

Reslit 2762 - Survival and growth of wildflowers with buffalo grass or blue grama grass (2005) D. T. Lindgren, D. Schaaf
Reslit 2828 - Effects of bison and cattle on growth, reproduction, and abundances of five tallgrass prairie forbs (1997) S. A. Damhoureyeh, D. C. Hartnett
Reslit 2829 - Diversity-productivity relationships in two ecologically realistic rarity-extinction scenarios (2008) F. I. Isbell, D. A. Losure, K. A. Yurkonis, B. J. ...
Reslit 2830 - Plant defense, growth, and habitat: A comparative assessment of constitutive and induced resistance (2007) P. A. Van Zandt
Reslit 2831 - Effects of mycorrhizae on growth and demography of tallgrass prairie forbs (2001) G. W. T. Wilson, D. C. Hartnett, M. D. Smith, K. K...

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1994 VOL. 11, NO.3 - Preparation for Spring Gardening, Director\'s Report, How the Length of Day and ...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Salvia azurea in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Salvia azurea in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Salvia azurea


Record Modified: 2023-02-24
Research By: TWC Staff

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