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PlantFiles: Andean Silver-Leaf Sage
Salvia discolor

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: discolor (DIS-kol-or) (Info)

» View all varieties of Salvias

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

5 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

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

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Dark Purple/Black

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Blooms all year


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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 semi-hardwood cuttings
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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By herbin
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By Baa
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By Baa
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By Evert
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There are a total of 16 photos.
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4 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive lancer23 On Sep 15, 2014, lancer23 from San Francisco, CA wrote:

Got my plant started from a small cutting. Its easily rooted. Its so easy to care for I don't know why its not as commonly grown as it should be. It tolerates poor soil and neglect. A lot of times I forgot to water it until it wilts terribly. I'm agreeing with the person who said the leaves and stem's sticky. You really needs to wash your hand after you touch any part of this plant. It must be a natural defense to insects because I've not seen any damage on this plant; I've seen other salvia being knaw on. Indeed its a wonderful looking plant, well scented too.

Neutral cloud91977 On Mar 30, 2012, cloud91977 from Spring Valley, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

The leaves of this plant are, IMO, the most deliciously-scented of the salvias. In addition, the eggplant purple flowers are some of the most beautiful amongst the salvias because of the way the color plays off the apple green leaf-tops and the dusty white leaf-bottoms. The long stems make suberb cut flowers that last a week or more in a vase. Additionally, the dried leaves can be used in potpourris and dried arrangements.

Blooms most of the year here in San Diego, CA. Does not require feeding. Thrives on a deep watering every 2-4 weeks (depending on the heat).

The only downside to this plant is that the stalks (but not the leaves or flowers) are very sticky. The resin can stain your clothes, so protection or care is needed when handling the plant.

Positive straea On Oct 19, 2008, straea from Somerville, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

WOW is this plant a knockout! I already have a weakness for salvias, and this enchanting plant has greatly increased it. Words can't fully describe the loveliness of the silvery-topped, white-bottomed leaves or the beauty of the black bracts against the silver once it blooms. I think it's better to look at photos of this plant to get a sense of it than to try to read descriptions like mine.

This plant seems very difficult to find here in the US (this year is the first time I've found it in 5 years of trying) so I am going to try overwintering mine inside now that I've finally got a plant and seeing how it does.

Positive KMAC On Oct 10, 2004, KMAC from Co. Cork
Ireland (Zone 9a) wrote:

The very dark flowers, almost black, have a delicious scent of blackcurrants.

Positive Evert On Sep 7, 2003, Evert from Helsinki
Finland (Zone 4b) wrote:

Very easy to propagate from cuttings, they grow roots fast in a glass of water.

Neutral Baa On Sep 1, 2001, Baa wrote:

Perennial Salvia from Peru, Has ovate densely white-woolly, entire mid green stems and leaves up to 2 inches long. Bears long terminal racemes of very deep purple/black flowers from white woolly calyces.

Flowers anytime from May-October sometimes flowers twice if flowering early.

Likes well drained soil and needs winter protection as only frost hardy. Water very sparingly in winter.


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

Albany, California
Corona, California
San Francisco, California
Spring Valley, California
Deland, Florida
Somerville, Massachusetts
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

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