This 2-3 ft. upright or sprawling perennial, usually forms a mound as wide as the plant is tall. Mealy sage is named for the mealy-white (sometimes purple) appearance of the sepals, which are covered with felted hairs. The blue flowers are 5-lobed and 2-lipped, 2/3–3/4 inch long, with 2 stamens and 1 pistil. They have the usual sage fragrance. The long, narrow leaves grow in clusters, out of which grow the flower stems. The leaves may or may not have teeth. Dark-blue to white, tubular flowers are densely congested in whorls along the upper stems, creating a 3-9 in. spike. Gray-green, lance-shaped leaves are numerous, especially in the lower portion of the plant.
- blue sage (Source: Zander Ency ) – English
- mealy sage (Source: F Tex ) – English
- mealy-cup sage (Source: Hortus 3 ) – English
- sauge farineuse (Source: Zander Ency ) – French
- mehliger Salbei (Source: Zander Ency ) – German
- daggsalvia (Source: Vara kulturvaxt namn ) – Swedish
Propagation Material: Seeds , Softwood Cuttings
Description: Propagate by seed or cuttings.
Seed Collection: Collect the seeds as the capsules begin to dry but before they have dropped the seeds. Spread seeds in thin layers to dry a few days before storing in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Seed Treatment: Generally, a cold-moist stratification period is required for germination of Salvia seed. This species does require light for germination.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: After an extended period of flowering, you may wish to prune it halfway back to produce thicker, more compact foliage and a shorter flowering plant. Pruning may delay flowering for several weeks, but it is important in preventing leggy plants.
Use Ornamental: It is an excellent plant for a flower bed, and is often planted in groupings to create an attractive mass of color. The leaves have a grayish cast which make a good contrast to lush green foliage of other plants. It is a good plant for a rock garden. Showy, Blooms ornamental, Mass planting, Perennial garden.
Use Wildlife: Nectar-Hummingbirds, Nectar-Bees
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies , Hummingbirds
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High
Tender perennial that is winter hardy to USDA Zones 8-10. Tolerates poor soils and some drought. Plants grown from seed sown directly in the ground after last frost date may not bloom. Seed should be started indoors 10-12 weeks before last frost date. Set out seedlings or purchased plants after last frost date. If desired, cut back and pot up several plants in fall or take cuttings in late summer for overwintering in a bright but cool sunny window.
Native to Texas and Mexico, mealycup sage is a shrubby, clump-forming, tender perennial that typically grows 1.5-3’ tall on erect, branching, square stems. It features two-lipped, violet-blue flowers in 4-8” axillary and terminal racemes from summer to fall. Drooping, irregularly-serrate, ovate-lanceolate, gray-green leaves (to 3” long). Common name and specific epithet are in reference to the white powdery felting found on the upper stems and calyx (“mealy” means covered with powdery meal, “cup” is in reference to the calyx shape and farinacea comes from the Latin word for flour or meal). Cultivars are available in various shades of blue, purple, lavender, white and bicolor.
No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to downy and powdery mildew.
Beds, borders, meadows, cottage gardens, cutting gardens.
USA: CT , FL , LA , NM , OH , OK , TX
Native Distribution: C. & w. TX & NM
Native Habitat: Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs, Woodlands edge, Opening, Dry calcalreous substrates
|Native Status:||L48 N|
|Kingdom||Plantae – Plants|
|Subkingdom||Tracheobionta – Vascular plants|
|Superdivision||Spermatophyta – Seed plants|
|Division||Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants|
|Class||Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons|
|Family||Lamiaceae – Mint family|
|Genus||Salvia L. – sage|
|Species||Salvia farinacea Benth. – mealycup sage|
USDA Natural Conservation Resources Service
ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network (SAFA2)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (SAFA2)
Kemper Center for Home Gardening (SAFA2)
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Information Network (SAFA2)
USF Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants (SAFA2)
PHOTO COURTESY OF
plants.usda.gov and Smithsonian Institution