Lyreleaf Sage, Cancer Weed 'Purple Volcano'

Salvia lyrata

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: lyrata (ly-RAY-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Purple Volcano
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6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


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)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade



Bloom Color:

White/Near White


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall


Grown for foliage

Provides winter interest

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

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:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Foliage Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Calistoga, California

Panama City, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Folkston, Georgia

Greenville, Indiana

Boone, Iowa

Belton, Missouri

Gastonia, North Carolina

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Summerville, South Carolina

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas (2 reports)

Fort Worth, Texas

Kalama, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 16, 2014, OhioLarch from Monroe, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

The Royal Horticultural Society Horticultural Database indicates that the name 'Purple Volcano' is an orthographic variant of 'Purple Knockout'.


On Apr 30, 2014, wwilli04 from Gastonia, NC wrote:

I love this plant. I don't know how it came to be in my garden, but I have this beautiful pop of color in lots of different areas. I have many containers in my gardens and it is in almost every one. It reseeds very easily and I have about a dozen plants to share every year, which my fellow gardeners love.


On Apr 20, 2013, gardenspot107 from Summerville, SC wrote:

I bought this plant for the burgandy foilage. Just beautiful and it had this cute spire shooting upward with the mini trumpet light pink blooms in all directions. I loved it the first year...perfect for winter interest in my burgandy garden. Second year, noticed they were popping up in other places, now, the third year.. I am taking off all the cute spires as not to promote anymore growing. I think I will have to put them on the invasive over time list in my garden and make some decisions as I love the color. They are now showing up in my other color coded gardens and they don't match! LOL! Anyway, Positive, foilage, negative can be invasive, so I gave it a neutral to balance it out. Depends what fits in your garden. I will be snapping of spires all summer! By the Way, this one doe... read more


On May 20, 2012, merrygoround from Prince George, VA wrote:

Although this plant readily self seeds, it adds beautiful color and interest with the color and shape of the leaves. It pulls out quite easily if found when small. I have shared many of these with friends and never a complaint. Will grow in dry areas or areas of the garden that are mulched. Highly recommend it.


On Mar 7, 2011, chadc from Boise
United States wrote:

This plant took off after the first year and starting taking over beds. It might be better suited to dryer, tougher conditions that might restrict its growth. The flowers are not showy enough to justify the work needed to contain it. Therefore, it's gone. Hopefully.


On May 29, 2009, appublic from Belton, MO (Zone 5b) wrote:

I'm in 5b and it grows just fine and it takes some major winter weather to finally shut it down for the season.

This plant is tough as nails. It loves sun. Mine appear to also like neglect and poor soil! Some of mine are currently growing in real problem spot where they are in full sun with no mulch and whenever it rains heavily, water rushes through the area. Nothing else has made it in this spot but my Purple Volcano are doing beautifully. Of course, that same toughness can translate into an invasive plant. Mine do self-sew but for me that's a plus, not a negative. My mother doesn't appreciate this, however, so I get all her volunteers. She has volunteer plants popping up in her yard. She just mows them with the yard until I get over there to grab them. Mowing doesn't both... read more


On Sep 2, 2006, LeBug from Greenville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

I love this plant, it has dark rusty red leaves, much darker than the photos, guess because mine is in part shade and you can collect the seeds from the little flowers, there are four seeds in each one.