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Salvia azurea var. grandiflora (Pitcher sage)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Salvia azurea var. grandiflora

Salvia azurea Michx. ex Lam. var. grandiflora Benth.

Pitcher Sage, Blue Sage

Lamiaceae (Mint Family)

Synonym(s): Salvia azurea ssp. intermedia, Salvia azurea ssp. pitcheri, Salvia pitcheri


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.


From the Image Gallery

21 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

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

Bloom Information

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


USA: AL , AR , CO , CT , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MI , MO , MS , NE , NM , NY , OH , OK , TN , TX , UT , WI
Native Distribution: IL to e. NE, s. AR & TX
Native Habitat: Dry prairies & openings. Dry prairies, oak-cedar hills, flats and openings throughout most of Texas.

Growing Conditions

Water 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.


Use Wildlife: Hummingbirds and butterflies love this plant.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies , Hummingbirds
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: Minimal

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

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


Description: 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

Find Seed or Plants

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

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
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0725 Collected Aug 17, 1992 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe

1 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Web Reference

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

Additional resources

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


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

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