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Scientific: Salvia farinacea
Common: blue sage, Texas violet, meaycup sage
Family: Lamiaceae, the mint family
Origin: Texas, New Mexico into northern Mexico

Pronounciation: SAL-vi-a far-in-A-ce-a

Hardiness zones
7-10, 12-24
USDA 9-11

Landscape Use: Used as cool season annual, or as a short-lived perennial in desert areas without frost, herbaceous borders, mixed gardens, blue color accent, mass color, and container plant.

Form & Character: Cultivated varieties are delicate, upright, yet pensive, recessive, and restrained.

Growth Habit: Short-lived, evergreen, herbaceous perennial grown as a cool season annual in the Phoenix area. Cultivated varieties are usually compact, 18-inches tall. However, in its native habitat it is capable of reaching 4 feet in height.

Foliage/Texture: Leaves opposite, narrow and lanceolate to 3-inches long, gray green and glabrous on adaxial side to pubescent and white on abaxial side; medium fine texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Multiple flower bracts colored mostly blue, some deep violet, others white all born on a terminal racemose spike. Like other salvias, fruit a small paper capsule.

Seasonal Color: Gives a color display from late summer until early spring.

Temperature: Has difficulty growing during our really high (June-August) summer heat. Best if temperatures are between 40oF and 100oF.

Light: Full sun, except for summer when protection from the intense blasts of lower desert solar radiation are essential.

Soil: Well-drained soil, but plenty of organic matter will ensure best performance. Like Salvia splendens, applications of a complete fertilizer with elevated phosphorus concentrations will enhance blooming, and is usually warranted in our area.

Watering: Regular water is always needed in Phoenix for this plant to maintain luster.

Pruning: Deadhead spent flower spikes to prolong bloom period and promote new flower spikes, otherwise leave alone.

Propagation: Seed

Disease and Pests: Nematodes

Additional comments: Wow!! This is a really nice blue flowering garden accent bedding plant for spring and fall color in Phoenix. It can be grown in Phoenix during summer, but will likely need a little protection from afternoon summer sun (Okay, who am I kidding? Blue sage will need a lot of protection from the summer sun).

'Victoria', 'Victoria White', 'Strata', 'Rhea', and 'Cirrus' are superior cultivars.