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Salvia ballotiflora (Shrubby blue sage)
Smith, R.W.

Salvia ballotiflora

Salvia ballotiflora Benth.

Shrubby Blue Sage, Blue Shrub Sage, Mejorana

Lamiaceae (Mint Family)


USDA Symbol: SABA5

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A much-branched aromatic shrub with square stems. Leaves are opposite with serrated margins, hairy above and below. Flowers bluish-purple in elongated clusters.


From the Image Gallery

21 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Nut
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.
Fruit: Nutlets.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul


Native Habitat: Rocky, sandy, or gravelly soils on brushy slopes, thickets and chaparral from Edwards Plateau south to the coast of Texas. Good drainage required.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Calcareous
Conditions Comments: Blue shrub sage is somewhat of a woody plant. Cut it back in late winter to produce bushy plants in the spring. The leaves smell great and the nectar feeds adult butterflies. Somewhat deer resistant.


Use Ornamental: Aromatic, showy accent shrub.
Use Wildlife: Nectar-bees, Nectar-insects, Cover, Fruit-rodents
Use Food: Reportedly used for flavoring meats and other foods.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies , Hummingbirds
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High , Moderate , Minimal , No


Commercially Avail: yes

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Edible plants native to Austin, TX
August 05, 2009
Hello, I am a chef from Buenos Aires Argentina visiting Austin, Texas and would like to learn about native, edible plants in the region. Please let me know if there are any native, edible plants...
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
National Butterfly Center - Mission, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0599 Collected May 13, 1992 in Medina County by Harry Cliffe

1 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium


Bibref 305 - Field Guide to Common South Texas Shrubs (1997) Taylor, R.B., J. Rutledge, & J.G. Herrera
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


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

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