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Salvia, Giant Desert Purple Sage 'Blue Flame'

Salvia pachyphylla

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: pachyphylla (pak-ee-FIL-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Blue Flame
» View all varieties of Salvias






24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Bloom Color:

Dark Blue


Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer



Provides winter interest

This plant is resistant to deer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Amesti, California

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Copperas Cove, Texas

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 2, 2016, plantcowboy from Twin Peaks, CA wrote:

Our experience with this plant is very positive. Perhaps because our ranch is in the San Bernardino mountains where this plant originated, it thrives at our place. We always place rocks around the plant, and we very rarely water it. Soil should be sandy and porous. It blooms all summer, and critters won't touch it. Ours grow out to 4-5 feet wide. This variety of Rose Sage is very pretty.


On Jun 10, 2012, Sandwichkatexan from Copperas Cove, TX wrote:

This plant is not for the faint of heart. I have killed seven of them until I finally found a way to make it happy. First large pot , Second sandy gravelly soil, Third no underplanting of any kind! It is from a California so it needs to be dry in summer and wet in winter . only water in summer if absolutely necessary . In our Central Texas humid hot summers it needs excellent air circulation . I will post pictures of it when I get some blooms but the foliage is also very ornamental . If you are a lazy gardener this plant is not for you . This plant must be babied and pampered otherwise you will loose it . The inflorescence is amazing and will get your attention from across the garden !


On Jun 24, 2010, Kim_M from Hamburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I have never written a negative about any plant. I found this plant very very hard to grow. I moved it 3 times to trying to make it happy. Maybe I watered it too much...I will try it again. As of now the one and only plant I have is dead. I might purchase another one.


On Jun 14, 2009, plutodrive from Denver, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

Site Salvia pachyphylla 'Blue Flame' carefully in zones 5/6. Plant in spring or early summer and give it some water so that it gets established before winter. Needs well draining soil, good air circulation and full sun. Gorgeous plant.