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Salvia guaranitica

Anise-Scented Sage
Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Annuals, Perennials


All sages have square stems and whorls of two-lipped flowers, either distinctly spaced along flower stalks or so tightly crowded that they look like one dense spike; some species have branched inflorescences. Flower colors range from white and yellow through salmon and pink to scarlet and pure red, from pale lavender to true blue and darkest purple. A few sages have fragrant blossoms. Many have aromatic foliage. Sages attract hummingbirds, bees, butterflies.

Salvia guaranitica

Upright, branching plant to 4–5 ft. high and nearly as wide. Spreads by short underground runners; roots form tubers resembling small sausages. Narrowly heart-shaped, sparsely hairy, mint green leaves to 5 in. long. Blooms from early summer to frost. Most common form bears 2-in. cobalt blue blossoms, carried several to each foot-long stem; calyxes are bright green, turning purplish on sunny side. Needs support.Where it grows as a perennial, it gets woody by season’s end—but that wood dies during winter and must be cut back to ground. Elegant container plant.


Dark purple flowers with nearly black calyx bloom constantly from early spring until frost. Amistad is more compact and has a fuller habit then other guaranitica types. Flowers are a magnet for butterflies and hummingbirds. From the Sunset Western Garden Collection.

'Black and Blue'

This variety bears blossoms that are deep blue with dark purplish blue calyxes.

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Salvia greggii 'Wild Thing'

Hot pink flowers.

Salvia greggii 'Furman's Red'

Deep red flowers.

Salvia greggii 'Alba'

Pure white flowers.

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