Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Lyreleaf Sage, Cancer Weed
Salvia lyrata

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: lyrata (ly-RAY-tuh) (Info)

» View all varieties of Salvias

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

22 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Light Blue
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 16 photos.
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5 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive felicis On Dec 23, 2012, felicis from Natchitoches, LA wrote:

It does spread like wildfire, but I've let it. Half the front yard is a sea of the delicate lavender blooms in spring. Once it's finished I have it mown down (generally I go out and break off all the stalks first to make it easier). With the kind of record heat and droughts we've been having, I'm grateful for any native that wants to put on such a show.

Negative postoak7 On Apr 12, 2010, postoak7 from Statham, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Self-sows freely has been an under-statement for this plant in my experience in the GA piedmont. I invited 3 of these into my yard a couple of years ago and now have hundreds.

Positive mjsponies On Mar 29, 2009, mjsponies from DeLand/Deleon Springs, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Native salvia I love the purple/green leaves. Grows in a low rosette, that's nice to tuck in among other plants.
I just go dig em up and replant in my beds. I'll mow around them if I find a patch in the yard or pasture...

Neutral raisedbedbob On Feb 8, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

American Indians used the root as a salve for sores. Whole plant tea was used for colds, coughs, and nervous debility. Used as a folk remedy for cancer and warts.

Positive plantzperson On Nov 12, 2003, plantzperson from Zachary, LA wrote:

This is a favorite plant I remember from my childhood days. I love the colors of the foliage & the airy look of the blooms. It will sometimes colonize along a road or in a pasture or the edge of the woods. It is a lovely sight to see when in bloom. I let it grow wild in my grass & yard, as I like the natural, woodland look. It can be mowed over & never look back! A rough & tough plant!

Positive dogbane On Nov 11, 2003, dogbane from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

A tough little plant and one of my favorite wildflowers. When mass blooming occurs, it looks like a vibrant blue mist hovering over the lawn (okay, I don't like manicured lawns - there, I've said it). I have them planted in a narrow strip (6 in. / 15 cm wide) along my driveway next to a fence and they are thriving there when nothing else I've tried even survived. Excellent companion plant to the Missouri Primrose Oenothera speciosa.

Positive lupinelover On Sep 7, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

There are variegated cultivars of this plant that are more attractive when not in bloom than the species. Seed generally comes true from these. Flower color can vary.

Neutral ButterflyGardnr On Jan 9, 2003, ButterflyGardnr from Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This plant reseeds readily. Most of the year it is a basal rosette of leaves from which a flower spike emerges. The flowers are attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies but the spikes are not laden with flowers (i.e. there is a lot of stem in between a few flowers). Spent bloom spikes should be cut off.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cullman, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama
Encinitas, California
Menlo Park, California
Wilmington, Delaware
Bartow, Florida
Bokeelia, Florida
Deland, Florida
Eustis, Florida
Gulf Breeze, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Tampa, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Cordele, Georgia
Cornelia, Georgia
Barbourville, Kentucky
Benton, Kentucky
Henderson, Kentucky
New Orleans, Louisiana
Zachary, Louisiana
Valley Lee, Maryland
Frenchtown, New Jersey
Panama, New York
Holly Springs, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Grove City, Ohio
New Freedom, Pennsylvania
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas
Belton, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Denton, Texas
Dike, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Garland, Texas
Huntsville, Texas
Jacksonville, Texas
Kendalia, Texas
Mont Belvieu, Texas
New Caney, Texas
North Richland Hills, Texas
Santa Fe, Texas
Southlake, Texas
Spring, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas
Weatherford, Texas
Charlottesville, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Great Cacapon, West Virginia

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