General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5b -26.1 °C (-15 °F) to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 10b
Plant Height: 8 inches to 24 inches
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Other: Ripe fruit is a dark brown open cupped pod with 4 seeds.
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Blue
Other: Bluish-purple
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Late spring or early summer
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Provides winter interest
Erosion control
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Other info: This plant self seeds.
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Pollinators: Bees

Common names
  • Lyreleaf Sage
  • Cancer Weed
  • Sage

Lyreleaf Sage (Salvia lyrata) was a featured
Plant of the Day for November 19, 2016.
This plant is tagged in:
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  • Posted by jmorth (central Illinois) on Sep 13, 2015 10:31 AM concerning plant:
    Lyre-leaved sage is a wildflower found in the southern part of Illinois in moist a/o open woods, flowering in April, May, and June. The light blue flowers, w/ the upper lip shorter than the lower lip, are about an inch in length. They form as a series of whorls (appx. 6 per whorl) on the top of the stem. Bottom leaves, w/ wavy and lobed edges, have long, (to 8 inches) stalks and measure 3 inches across. Often there's a smaller set of leaves w/o a stalk attachment (right on stem). The single stem is square.
    The plant is hairy and up to 2 feet tall.
    Native Americans used the root on sores. As a folk remedy it was brewed as a tea w/ honey for asthma and to treat warts and cancer, hence another common name is Cancer Weed.
  • Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Feb 17, 2013 8:37 PM concerning plant:
    Salvia lyrata is a native wildflower here in Florida, found throughout the state. The leaves form a basal rosette and the plant grows to 24 inches in height. Whorls of pale purple to bluish-pink flowers are borne on the 1 to 2 foot tall hairy stem that emerges from the rosette. Flowers have a 3-lobed upper petal and a longer 2-lobed lower lip. The fruit of Lyreleaf Sage is an open cup-shaped brown pod containing 4 seeds.The plant reseeds readily and can become weedy. Salvia lyrata is found in habitats of disturbed sites, roadsides, forest margins and fields.
  • Posted by Marilyn (Kentucky - Zone 6a) on May 26, 2013 10:23 PM concerning plant:
    "Salvia lyrata (Lyre-leaf sage, Lyreleaf sage, Wild sage, Cancerweed), is a herbaceous perennial in the family Lamiaceae that is native to the United States, from Connecticut west to Missouri, and in the south from Florida east to Texas. It was described and named by Carolus Linnaeus in 1753.

    Salvia lyrata forms a basal rosette of leaves that are up to 8 inches long, broadening toward the tip. The leaves have irregular margins and are typically pinnately lobed or cut, looking somewhat like a lyre. The center vein is sometimes dark wine-purple. A hairy stem up to 2 feet long grows from the rosette, with uneven whorls of two-lipped lavender to blue flowers. Flowering is heaviest between April and June, though sparse flowering can happen throughout the year. The leaves were once thought to be an external cure for cancer, thus one of the common names "Cancerweed". Salvia lyrata grows in full sun or light to medium shade, with native stands found on roadsides, fields, and open woodlands.

    Salvia lyrata is sometimes grown in gardens for its attractive foliage and flowers, though it can prolifically seed, easily becoming a lawn weed. Several cultivars have been developed with purple leaves. 'Burgundy Bliss' and 'Purple Knockout' are two cultivars with burgundy leaves that are deeper in color than the species. Native Americans used the root as a salve for sores, and used the whole plant as a tea for colds and coughs."

    Taken from wikipedia's page at:
  • Posted by sheryl (Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ - Zone 9b) on Dec 6, 2011 7:46 PM concerning plant:
    Salvia lyrata grows wild in my area (Mid-Tennessee, zone 6b/7a). You can see the pale lavender spikes of blooms on the sides of roadways and working it's way into lawns. It self-seeds prolifically in garden situations as well in the wild and requires no care but the occasional prune of the bloom stalks if you wish to prevent seeding.

    It is also grown as a medicinal herb.
Plant Events from our members
aspenhill On May 4, 2012 Obtained plant
DG David (greenthumb99) and Pat (ecnalg) - qty 1
WebTucker On April 8, 2022 Bloomed
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