PlantsSalvias→Baby Sage (Salvia microphylla)

Common names:
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Botanical names:
Salvia microphylla Accepted
Salvia grahamii Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 7a -17.8 °C (0 °F) to -15 °C (5 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 10b
Plant Height: 12 inches to 48 inches
Plant Spread: 24 inches to 36 inches
Leaves: Evergreen
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Mauve
Other: Magenta Pink to Rose
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Other: May bloom off and on year-round in some climates.
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Medicinal Herb
Suitable as Annual
Edible Parts: Leaves
Eating Methods: Tea
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Drought tolerant
Pollinators: Bees
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots


The Top SalviasThe Top Salvias
By dave on September 12, 2015

We open the Salvias Celebration Week with a look at the top cultivars, top comments, most thumbed images, and more!

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Baby Sage (Salvia microphylla) was a featured
Plant of the Day for October 27, 2016.

Photo gallery:

Posted by Marilyn (Kentucky - Zone 6a) on May 25, 2013 4:11 PM

"Salvia microphylla (Baby sage, Graham's sage, Blackcurrant sage) is a perennial shrub found in the wild in southeastern Arizona and the mountains of eastern, western, and southern Mexico. It is a very complex species which easily hybridizes, resulting in numerous hybrids and cultivars brought into horticulture since the 1990s. The specific epithet microphylla, from the Greek, means "small leaved". In Mexico, it is called "mirto de montes," or "myrtle of the mountains."

Salvia microphylla grows to 3.3 to 4.3 feet tall and wide, blooming in its first year and growing to full size in its second year. The leaves are ovate shaped, of varying sizes, and smooth or lightly covered with hairs. When crushed, the leaves have a strong fragrance, which has been described as pleasant and mint-like, but also as similar to that of blackcurrants, leading to the use of "Blackcurrant Sage" as an English name for this species. It sometimes spreads underground, producing dense patches.

Along with its cultivars and hybrids, S. microphylla blooms heavily in late spring and again in autumn, with sporadic flowering year-round in mild conditions. The flowers are arranged in whorls, with a wide range of color: magenta, red, pink, and rose.

Botanist Carl Epling considered Salvia microphylla to have three geographical races, though the wide variation still causes confusion today, and there are conceivably more than three races. Adding to the confusion, Salvia microphylla is often mistaken for Salvia greggii, with which it frequently hybridizes. Epling distinguishes between the two by the S. microphylla leaves, which have serrated edges, compared to the narrow, elliptic, and smooth-edged S. greggii leaves — and by a pair of papillae inside the S. microphylla corolla.

In the U.S. it is sometimes called "Graham's sage," as it was named Salvia grahamii by George Bentham. It was also named Salvia neurepia by Merritt Lyndon Fernald. Both these botanic names are considered invalid as they are later than microphylla.

There is also confusion between Salvia microphylla and Salvia lemmonii, which was named by Asa Gray. Later, Gray began calling it Salvia microphylla var. wislizenii, considering it to be a variety of S. microphylla, though most taxonomies still consider S. lemmonii to be a unique species. S. lemmonii has leaves that are 0.59 to 1.2 inch long, which are furry and sharp-pointed, along with flowers that are often vermilion or magenta, with the inflorescence shorter than that of S. microphylla. var. neurepia."

Taken from wikipedia's page at:

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Salvia microphylla or S. splendens? by eclayne Apr 19, 2017 12:00 AM 1
Transplanting by sbroadhead6 Jun 24, 2021 1:47 PM 2
Salvia ? by logo May 15, 2021 9:51 PM 9
ID please by Nick_Kurzenko May 12, 2021 2:28 AM 2
Planting suggestion by monica27295 Apr 12, 2021 9:08 PM 14
Can anyone tell me what is this plant by sambechara Jul 17, 2020 4:20 PM 5
Recommendations for "Cottage look both perennials & annuals for zone 10A S.W. Fl by daviedirtynails Mar 1, 2020 7:29 AM 3
Which salvias are you buying for the new year? by Miamiu Oct 2, 2020 12:56 PM 263
Are there any salvias that bloom from spring to fall? by Miamiu Nov 16, 2019 6:41 PM 13
Establishing landscape plants by Baja_Costero Aug 3, 2021 10:18 AM 27
Sheri asks... by Sheridragonfly Sep 11, 2019 1:09 AM 12

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