Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Purple Sage
Salvia leucophylla

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: leucophylla (loo-koh-FIL-uh) (Info)

» View all varieties of Salvias

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24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

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:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

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:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By palmbob
Thumbnail #1 of Salvia leucophylla by palmbob

By palmbob
Thumbnail #2 of Salvia leucophylla by palmbob

By Kelli
Thumbnail #3 of Salvia leucophylla by Kelli

By Kelli
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By Kelli
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By Kelli
Thumbnail #6 of Salvia leucophylla by Kelli

By Siirenias
Thumbnail #7 of Salvia leucophylla by Siirenias


3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Siirenias On Jul 12, 2013, Siirenias from Oak Park, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

One of my favorite sages, overall.

This plant will grow in almost-desert conditions, loves sun, and heat too. If you treat it to lots and lots of sun and water in the Spring (but not Summer), it can reward you with a month and a half of small purple flowers. Like a cloud above the foliage, the flowers attract all manner of bees and butterflies who come for the generous nectar.

It can get somewhat scraggly after flowering, when significant lengths of stem seem somewhat abandoned by the plant. Wait a few weeks for new growth to tell you where to trim to, unless space will dictate that for you (up to 2/3 every spring to promote new growth).

Two cultivars of note, from the same geographical area.

Point Sal is a coastal area near Santa Barbara, California that claims home to some spectacular ground cover forms of Salvia leucophylla.

S. leucophylla 'Point Sal' is also called Creeping Purple Sage, and spreads out to, by varying sources, from 3' to 10' wide. This cultivar grows between 1' and 3' tall.

S. leucophylla 'Amathyst Bluffs' is also called Giant Creeping Purple Sage, and can reach more than 10' wide. It can slowly reach a height of over 5' tall.

Both of these cultivars are covered in blooms of a particular pink in early Spring, and may bloom as long as two months. They also share shorter and more tomentose leaves than the species, with a superior fragrance and flavor.

Positive youreit On Mar 7, 2010, youreit from Knights Landing, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I've grown this for at least 4 years, and although it's a beautiful, mounding plant, with nice, healthy foliage, it has never bloomed for me. I can only assume it's due to lack of sun; I made the mistake of planting it on the west side of a California buckeye. Also, to the west of the S. leucophylla is a structure that cuts back on even more late-afternoon sun. I've taken cuttings this year; hopefully, they will root as easily as reported, and I can plant others where they will get more sun exposure.

Positive petevllx On Mar 31, 2004, petevllx from Oakland, CA wrote:

i have two different varieties. one of them is called 'figueroa' and has very thick, fuzzy, almost white leaves that are somewhat curled and look like chenille. the flowers are a beautiful purple and last from may to september. it's near a pathway in my garden and everyone asks me what smells so good when they pass it. the other variety i have is unnamed [i think it's a cross between s. leucophylla and s. sonomoensis] and it has a very purplish-pink stem. the leaves are also thick and fuzzy, but not curled at all. this one is a mounding variety and stays very neat w/ a twice annual haircut. the contrast of soft silver leaves and purple stems is very nice. salvia leucophylla does much better w/ occasional summer water. very beautiful plant that gets lots of comments from visitors.

Neutral palmbob On Mar 30, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Not a very spectacular plant, but subtle... very drought tolerant, though. Native to Southern California and Baja Mexico


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

Knights Landing, California
Malibu, California
Menifee, California
Merced, California
Oak Park, California
Perris, California
Waukegan, Illinois
Rochelle, Texas

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