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Big Red Sage
Salvia penstemonoides

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: penstemonoides (pen-stem-on-OY-deez) (Info)
» View all varieties of Salvias




24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


15-18 in. (38-45 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)

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

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:

Fuchsia (Red-Purple)

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter




Other details:

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

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:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


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

Glendora, California

Wilmington, Delaware

Derby, Kansas

Hebron, Kentucky

Merryville, Louisiana

Lincoln, Nebraska

Holly Springs, North Carolina

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas

Belton, Texas

Crawford, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Houston, Texas

Longview, Texas

San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

Spring Branch, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 7, 2010, spgarden from Spring Branch, TX wrote:

purchased from High Country Gardens two years ago for Texas natives garden. Deer browsed heavily so it did not flower first two seasons, and only formed a small clump. This season I spray with deer repellant once per week, and it is now in full bloom and almost 3 feet high.


On Jul 26, 2006, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:

Bought this in 2005 from High Country Gardens. Stated it was hardy in zone 6 and it is for me. Love this plant! Beautiful flowers! Beautiful color! Wouldn't be without it!


On Mar 3, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Salvia Penstemonoides, is a Texas Endemic and was thought to be extinct untill it was rediscovered in South Central Texas in 1996.
This plant is evergreen and likes sun and moist soil. It blooms most of the summer and is a great hummingbird attractor.


On Dec 27, 2005, jameso from Longview, TX wrote:

Very happy with the plant. Every time the hummingbirds came to my garden they visited tis plant. It seems to be weathering the winter.