Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Blue Anise Sage, Brazilian Sage
Salvia guaranitica

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: guaranitica (gwar-uh-NYE-tik-uh) (Info)

» View all varieties of Salvias

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

12 members have or want this plant for trade.

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36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

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)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Medium Blue

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant

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:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From softwood cuttings

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

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There are a total of 20 photos.
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11 positives
3 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Sep 2, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

I love this plant for its vigor and its long display of vivid blue flowers from late summer through fall. I'm especially fond of 'Black and Blue', whose calyces and flower stems are black instead of the usual green. I can't detect a fragrance from the flowers, though the foliage is pleasantly aromatic when rubbed or crushed.

It performs best in full sun here, but even with only a couple of hours of sun it grows upright without support and blooms acceptably.

Here in Boston (Z6a) it usually does not survive the winter outside, and when it does it wakes up late and blooms little and late.

It forms tubers radiating from the center, much like a dahlia. Last fall I cut down and carefully dug up six plants, taking some care to keep the tubers attached to the center stem, as with a dahlia. I placed their roots/tubers in a large plastic pot with some compost to cover, and overwintered them in an unheated garage (no light or water, with temps that probably dipped slightly below freezing once or twice). Four of the six came back strongly when I replanted them this season in May.

Positive gruwellfam2 On Sep 1, 2014, gruwellfam2 from Seattle, WA wrote:

I love my Black and Blue. I have had it for 10 years, in full sun with water. It has not spread very much. I stay on top of it and dig pieces out for other people. In the fall I cover it with newspaper and 3 inches of fertile mulch along with all of my Salvia Gregii plants. Oh, the hummers!!!! Both the Sage and the hummers are exceptional!!

Neutral ahassel4u On Jul 24, 2013, ahassel4u from Elmsford, NY wrote:

This is my first year with the plant. Love the form & flowers, but leaves have been absolutely skeletonized by Asian Garden Beetles (maladera castanea) which I am in the process of trying to control. We'll see what happens next year...

Positive XemaSab On Nov 5, 2011, XemaSab from Redding, CA wrote:

After reading that it could be invasive, I relegated it to the back fence and proceeded to totally ignore it for three years. It's growing great in dry shade. I got some more for the area this fall, and it can invade back there all it wants!

Positive thinkinonit On Sep 24, 2011, thinkinonit from Norfolk, VA wrote:

I have S. guaranitica "Black and Blue" plant in a semi-sun area and it thrives! It is growing pretty compact and bushy and as of now - Sep 24th, in Norfolk VA. it is completely covered in flowers. I am thrilled it does so well without getting "leggy" in a more shaded area.

Neutral Darmananda On Aug 2, 2010, Darmananda from New Iberia, LA wrote:

I gotta be neutral on this plant because as others have said, they will grow weedy and try to take over nearby flower bed but if you are plating them as standalone without having other smaller size plants nearby, then this makes a nice & unique flowers in your garden (they call them blue but I say they are dark purple). Haven't seen hummers on them as they are planted on the side of the house where I only go to water the plants. I do say they are hardier and more pest-free than the red varieties that attract caterpillars, snails, leafspot and other diseases. Plant break easily when cultivating nearby or moving, but it will grow new branches in no time and become full again.

Positive pentama On Aug 2, 2010, pentama from Johnson City, TN wrote:

This beauty has been growing in my zone 6b garden for at least five years. Hummingbirds love it. It spreads but is easy to pull out. Gardening friends are thrilled to adopt the excess plants.

Positive alzone7 On Jul 24, 2010, alzone7 from Gadsden, AL wrote:

This one does spread, but hasn't totally taken over. It's well worth having just for the hummingbirds. There is always at least one working ours. I'm going to move them to an area right outside our breakfast room windows where there will be lots of room and we'll have a better view of the hummers.

Neutral canipity On Jan 6, 2009, canipity from Parkesburg, PA wrote:

Believe it or not we've had this guy survive here in Zone 6b. It has come back the last few years I suppose due to a mild winter. Also had some babies.

Negative crowellli On Jul 7, 2008, crowellli from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is the most invasive plant I've ever encountered. It's up there with mint. It spreads by underground runners and has taken over a huge bed and crowded out every other plant in that bed. I am not struggling to prevent it from jumping to the next bed. The runners are going under a stone path and inching into the rose bed. I've pulled up tons of it, but if you leave a bit of the broken runner in the ground, you get new plants. I really wish I'd never planted this plant!

Positive pal2k9s On Dec 27, 2006, pal2k9s from Lake Arrowhead, CA (Zone 8a) wrote:

In the spring I planted 4 four-inch tall plants ('Sapphire') in a dry, sunny area of my garden where I couldn't get much to grow. They rewarded me with amazing growth by summer, reaching almost 5 feet tall. In my garden, they bloom constantly until the first freeze. The flowers are gorgeous, and the scent of the leaves is amazing. And they reseed very nicely as well. They enjoy a good drink once a week unless it's really hot- then an extra watering or two keeps them happy.

One of my favorite activities is watching all the bees and hummingbirds flock around these plants. It's really funny to see the huge bumblebees try to get to the nectar of these narrow flowers. Many bees 'cheat' to get to the nectar; they make a small hole in the calyx of the flower to get to it. I have enough hummingbirds to ensure pollination of them, though!

Positive zzazzq On May 16, 2004, zzazzq from Madison, MS wrote:

Great plant for zone8. Long bloom period and gorgeous blue. Very sensitive to winter won't be hardy if saturated thru the winter.

Positive Terry On Jun 20, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

I second the comment that it's hardy to at least 7 - I was pleasantly surprised to find it coming back this spring, after a fairly typical winter here in 6b/7a.

Positive hummer_nut On Sep 23, 2002, hummer_nut from Montgomery, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

This salvia, unlike most other salvias, prefers shade and moisture, but will do OK in full sun with good moisture. It is hardy to at least zone 7. A hummingbird favorite. It multiplies by sending out new runners from parent. If you want a single large specimen, remove these runners. In zone 8 it blooms almost continuously from April till the temp goes below 27F. There is also a sky blue form called 'Argentina Skies', does not multiply fast by runners.

Positive bmuller On May 5, 2002, bmuller from Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is a plant that I've been surprised to find came back strongly (foliage, that is--too early to tell about bloom)in the spring. It is a nice plant--has performed relatively well for me in high desert, Zone 7, partial shade conditions.

Five years later, in the spring of 2007, my anise sages continue to thrive. Since we provided more sun for them (cut down several large trees), they seem even happier--healthier spread, better bloom.. They even survived this past winter, the worst one we've had in 30 years. Also, I've successfully propagated a couple of them through cuttings.


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

Florence, Alabama
Gadsden, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Hesperia, California
Lake Arrowhead, California
Redding, California
Sacramento, California
San Francisco, California
Winchester, California
Wilmington, Delaware
Brooksville, Florida
Largo, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Barnesville, Georgia
Jonesboro, Georgia
Derby, Kansas
Olathe, Kansas
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
New Iberia, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
West Monroe, Louisiana
Madison, Mississippi
Mathiston, Mississippi
Pope, Mississippi
Rodeo, New Mexico
Fuquay Varina, North Carolina
Parkesburg, Pennsylvania
South Montrose, Pennsylvania
Conway, South Carolina
Edisto Island, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Johnson City, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
San Antonio, Texas
Norfolk, Virginia
Seattle, Washington
Shoreline, Washington

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