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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 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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Size Notes: Up to about 5 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Blue
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
DistributionUSA: 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 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
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
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
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording 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
BibliographyBibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 57 - Atlas of Florida Plants (2020) Institute for Systematic Botany
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: 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
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-24
Research By: TWC Staff, LAL