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Salvia texana (Scheele) Torr.
Texas Sage, Blue Sage
Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
USDA Symbol: SATE3
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Salvia texana, at first glance, is very much like Engelmann's sage (Salvia engelmannii), an herbaceous perennial up to one and a half feet tall with purple-blue blooms, but Salvia texana has a longer bloom period and its smaller, darker flowers are topped by unopened green buds. It shares a common name, Texas Sage, with Leucophyllum frutescens, more often known as Cenizo, a very different, much larger shrub. Salvia texana is a native of limestone soils from north-central Texas south to northern Mexico. Native plant experts Sally and Andy Wasowski recommend planting it with other purple-flowering native forbs like Engelmann's Sage and Purple Paintbrush (Castilleja purpurea var. purpurea) among short prairie grasses.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Lanceolate , Oblanceolate
Leaf Pubescence: Hirsute
Leaf Margin: Entire
Leaf Apex: Acute , Obtuse
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Size Notes: Up to about 18 inches tall.
Flower: Flowers 17-25 mm long.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Color often described as a dark purplish blue.
DistributionUSA: NM , TX
Native Distribution: Widely distributed in well-drained limestone soils and on hills from north-central Texas (Denton County) south to northern Mexico and west to southeastern New Mexico
Native Habitat: Prairies, hillsides, slopes, and ledges in limestone soil
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
Drought Tolerance: High
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Found in limestone soils of consistencies ranging from sandy to clay and rocky caliche
BenefitUse Ornamental: Perennial garden, shortgrass meadow, limestone prairie
Use Wildlife: Bees visit flowers
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Trim back the old seed spikes after blooming to maintain a tidy appearance.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0751 Collected Apr 10, 1994 in Comal County by Mary Beth White
NPSOT 0746 Collected Apr 25, 1994 in Bexar County by Mike Fox
BibliographyBibref 293 - Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas (1979) Correll, D. S. & M. C. Johnston
Bibref 765 - McMillen's Texas Gardening: Wildflowers (1998) Howard, D.
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 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Salvia texana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Salvia texana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Salvia texana
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-27
Research By: TWC Staff, LAL, GDG