General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 3 to 5 feet
Plant Spread: 2 to 4 feet
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Other: Down covered leaves and stems.
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Blue
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Propagation: Seeds: Suitable for wintersowing
Sow in situ
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem

Common names
  • Blue Sage
  • Pitcher sage
  • Salvia
  • Wild Blue Sage
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Salvia azurea
  • Synonym: Salvia azurea var. grandiflora
  • Synonym: Salvia azurea subsp. pitcheri
  • Synonym: Salvia pitcheri
  • Synonym: Salvia azurea subsp. media

Blue Sage (Salvia azurea) was a featured
Plant of the Day for April 25, 2016.
This plant is tagged in:

  • Posted by jmorth (central Illinois) on Sep 20, 2012 12:25 PM concerning plant:
    Wild Blue Sage is a rare plant in Illinois with state-listed 'threatened' status, Distribution map on Illinois Prairie Plants site shows its presence in only a few counties; photo submitted was taken in a not highlighted county (Christian Co.)
    The preference is full sun and dry, well-drained conditions. Different kinds of soil are acceptable, including those that contain significant amounts of loam, clay, or gravel. A high pH is tolerated. The seed germinates readily, often producing flowering plants during the first year. This is a surprisingly easy plant to grow, with few problems from disease.
  • Posted by Danita (GA - Zone 7b) on Sep 30, 2011 1:20 AM concerning plant:
    Salvia azurea is a lovely, easy-to-grow plant here. It blooms in late summer and fall with long wispy stems topped with sky blue flowers. The hummingbirds and butterflies use this plant some, but it's more of a bee plant. It's been very drought tolerant and has survived severe drought and watering bans.

    My Climate: USDA Zone 7b, AHS Heat Zone 7/8, Humid
  • Posted by Marilyn (Kentucky - Zone 6a) on May 25, 2013 2:29 PM concerning plant:
    "Salvia azurea (Prairie sage or Blue sage) is a herbaceous perennial in the genus Salvia that is native to Central and Eastern North America.

    Its thin, upright stems can grow to 6 feet tall, with narrow, pointed, smooth-edged to serrated, furry to smooth green leaves, connected to their stems by petioles to .4 inches long. There are no basal leaves.

    The blue flowers (rarely white), nearly 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, appear summer to autumn near the ends of their branched or unbranched spikes; their calyxes are tubular or bell-shaped and furry. Two varieties are Salvia azurea var. azurea (azure sage) and Salvia azurea var. grandiflora (pitcher sage). It is found on the wild on roadsides, glades, fields and pastures."

    Taken from wikipedia's page at:
  • Posted by chelle (N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b and Florida) on Jan 10, 2013 7:25 AM concerning plant:
    Salvia azurea plants are in their third year here, so they are reliably hardy to at least zone 5b. Plants bloomed first year from seed sown early.
  • Posted by imabirdnut (North Texas - Zone 7b) on Aug 16, 2012 3:51 PM concerning plant:
    Very attractive to bees & butterflies
  • Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Mar 1, 2013 4:30 PM concerning plant:
    Salvia azurea is a perennial native here in Florida, found in the northern and central parts of the state. The species name azurea means "Sky Blue," referring to the lovely flower color. Blue Sage has thin 2"-4" long leaves with toothed margins and appearing opposite on a slender upright, hairy stem. Whorls of three to four bright blue (occasionally white) 1/2"-3/4" flowers are borne in clusters on a 6"-18" elongated spike. Flower form is a long tube with an upper lip and a longer 2-lobed lower lip. The fruit of Salvia azurea is an open cup-shaped, elongated brown pod containing 4 small brown nut-like seeds. Blue Sage is found in habitats of dry woods and pinelands and the flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Plant Events from our members
lovesblooms On March 1, 2020 Seeds sown
winter sow
lovesblooms On March 18, 2015 Seeds germinated
lovesblooms On January 25, 2015 Seeds sown
winter sown
MrsBinWY On June 27, 2021 Transplanted
2 on 6-26-21 behind Iris pallida; 5 on 8-14-2021 in alley, in front of ash pit; 6 in alley on 8-14-2021 west of single, pink climbing rose
MrsBinWY On March 18, 2021 Potted up
3-18-21: 18 of the 33 sinkers (54.5%) and 20 of the 55 floaters (36.4%)
3-19-21: 7 more sinkers (21.2%) and 4 floaters (7.3%) germinated
3-20-21: 2 more sinkers (6.1%) and 1 floater (1.8%)
3-21-21: 4 more sinkers (12.1%) and 1 floater (1.8%)
3-22-21: 0
3-23-21: 0
3-24-21: 0
3-25-21: 0 more sinkers (0.0%) and 1 floater (1.8%)
3-26-21: 0
3-27-21: 0 more sinkers (0.0%) and 1 floater (1.8%)
3-28-21: 0
3-29-21: 1 more sinker (3.0%) and 0 floaters (0.0%)

Cumulative sinkers = 31/33, 93.9%
Cumulative floaters = 28/55, 50.9%

8 didn't send up cotyledons (didn't keep track of which were sinkers and floaters at this point); 1 had a stuck seed coat & I waited too long to remove it or I damaged the cotyledons when I did remove it
MrsBinWY On March 17, 2021 Seeds germinated
So, the sinker-floater theory is blown. Lots of seeds in each group have germinated.
MrsBinWY On March 13, 2021 Seeds sown
Experiment: I have pretty poor luck discerning viable seeds from non-viable seeds of this species (visually, air separation, etc.) This time, I put a pinch of seeds in a bowl of water, skimmed off the "floaters" (55) and then strained the "sinkers" (33). I put each group on its own coffee filter, in its own zipper baggie and left at room temp.
MrsBinWY On June 23, 2019 Transplanted
On 6-23-2019, planted 2 from the LCMG Plant Sale in the front near Marci's Coreopsis (lanceolata?).
MrsBinWY On March 31, 2018 Potted up
MrsBinWY On March 14, 2018 Seeds germinated
MrsBinWY On March 10, 2018 Seeds sown
16 seeds from 2014G in milk jug @ warm room temp
CarolineScott On November 5, 2018 Seeds sown
dnrevel On January 17, 2022 Seeds sown
Winter sowed new 2021 seed collected from plant for 2022 year. Did well as 2021 new front yard gardens plant.
dnrevel On June 17, 2021 Transplanted
Transplanting other plants in front gardens.
dnrevel On March 19, 2021 Seeds sown
Winter Sown (end of WS season) - Seed gathered from plant in 2020
Needs 30 days of cool weather before planting. Good for Winter Sowing. Germination usually takes 1-2 weeks.
Obtained seed from Prairie Moon Nursery in 2019. 2nd Year for WS in 2021.
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