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The Plant Guide

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Purple sage

Salvia officinalis 'Purpurascens'

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Cooks and gardeners alike are indebted to this evergreen perennial for the unique, pungent flavor and aroma that its gray-green leaves produce. This cultivar has leaves suffused with steely-gray purple. It forms a 1.5-foot-tall and wide bush with woody stems that may be trimmed back to newly emerging growth or strong stems in spring. In early to mid-summer, it sends up lavender-purple flower spikes; it has both ornamental and culinary qualities in an herb garden. It tolerates alkaline soils, but cannot survive wet winter conditions.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsEdible purple leaves

CareProvide moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates alkaline soil.

PropagationDivide in spring. Take cuttings spring through fall.

ProblemsNothing serious, but root rot may occur in wet soils.

  • Genus : Salvia
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Characteristics : Attracts Pollinators, Deer Resistant, Fragrant Foliage, Showy Foliage
  • Uses : Color, Containers, Dry areas, Foliage, Ground Covers, Small Spaces, Sun
  • Tolerance : Deer Tolerant, Drought Tolerant, Frost Tolerant
  • Moisture : Dry to Medium
  • Bloom Time : Early Summer, Summer
  • Light : Full Shade
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Foliage Color : Purple/Burgundy
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest, Summer Interest

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