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Salvia farinacea is often confused with:
Salvia splendens Salvia splendens
Salvia x digenea Salvia x superba
Veronica spicata
Native alternative(s) for Salvia farinacea:
Salvia lyrata Salvia lyrata
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Monarda didyma plant with Lantana camara 'Miss Huff' in summer in Moore County
Salvia splendens Salvia splendens
Iris laevigata Iris laevigata bordering a pond or stream

Salvia farinacea

Previously known as:

  • Salvia amabilis
  • Salvia virgata
Phonetic Spelling
SAL-vee-ah fair-in-ah-SAY-ah
Description

Mealy-cup sage perennializes reliably only in the outer Coastal Plain but grows beautifully during the spring, summer and fall and functions as an annual in the Mountains and Piedmont. It is an excellent bedding plant that looks neat and attractive all summer. The leaves are softly hairy and small, and the flower spikes strong and upright. It makes a good cut flower. It prefers well-drained, moist soil but tolerates dry clay soil.  Plant in annual beds, along borders, meadows, cottage gardens, or cutting gardens.  This plant is seldom damaged by deer.

Quick ID

  • Erect herbs with square stems
  • Opposite ovate-lanceolate leaves
  • Chalices short, cup-like, inconspicuous teeth
  • Corollas zygomorphic, large lower lip, blue-purple

It will perennialize in southern beds, dying to the ground during winter, but is commonly treated as an annual; summer bloomer til frost; white cultivars exist. It is susceptible to downy and powdery mildew.

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Celebration Blue'
  • 'Rhea Dwarf Blue'
    compact (12-16 inches) with purple-blue flowers on dark purplish stems.
  • 'Victoria'
    large, intense violet-blue flowers and dark stems
Tags:
#purple#hummingbirds#white#butterflies#sun#partial shade#summer#spring#perennial#wildlife plant#purple flowers#nectar plant#blue flowers#cut flowers#fall interest#cottage garden#clay soil#cpp#bicolor#dry soil tolerant#deer resistant#rock gardens#borders#beds#pollinator plant#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Celebration Blue'
  • 'Rhea Dwarf Blue'
    compact (12-16 inches) with purple-blue flowers on dark purplish stems.
  • 'Victoria'
    large, intense violet-blue flowers and dark stems
Tags:
#purple#hummingbirds#white#butterflies#sun#partial shade#summer#spring#perennial#wildlife plant#purple flowers#nectar plant#blue flowers#cut flowers#fall interest#cottage garden#clay soil#cpp#bicolor#dry soil tolerant#deer resistant#rock gardens#borders#beds#pollinator plant#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Salvia
    Species:
    farinacea
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    S. Central U.S.A. to NE. Mexico
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 6 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Long Bloom Season
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are blue to purple; calyx minute, short-cylindric, teeth obscure, blue beneath mealy-white pubescence; corolla zygomorphic, blue to purple, short, tube to .3 inches long, lower lip enlarged, upper lobes short. Inflorescence is a terminal. interrupted, verticillate raceme; verticillasters 10-16 flowered.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are opposite, short-petiolate, ovate-lanceolate to narrowly oblong, irregularly serrate, minutely pubescent, acute, rotund to attenuate, minutely pubescent.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
    Stem Description:
    square
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil