Salvia Species, Gentian Sage, Spreading Sage

Salvia patens

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: patens (PAT-ens) (Info)
Synonym:Salvia decipiens
Synonym:Salvia macrantha
Synonym:Salvia spectabilis
» View all varieties of Salvias
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Tropicals and Tender Perennials


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Bloom Color:

Medium Blue

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



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:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Water Requirements:

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:

Albany, California

Richmond, California

San Jose, California (2 reports)

Temecula, California

Jacksonville, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Wauchula, Florida

Somerville, Massachusetts

Coos Bay, Oregon

Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania

Spring Grove, Pennsylvania

Houston, Texas

Kalama, Washington

Seattle, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 25, 2015, beebonnet from Coos Bay, OR (Zone 9a) wrote:

This gorgeous blue salvia is in it's third year in my garden. We have had two mild winters in a row now, so can't be sure if it will continue, so I gathered seed today when I dead headed so that I can be sure to always have it.


On Aug 18, 2011, Circe33 from Biacesa,
Italy wrote:

The color is naturally the most well-known advantage of this late-summer bloomer (such a wonderful, clear blue!) But I find that I'm enjoying the shape of the leaves as well...the towers of arrow-shaped blades add a nice texture , look great near my delphinium and echinacea (which tend to look a bit "leggy" without something else growing near). A capricious choice of plant, but now one I'm very glad I made.


On Oct 13, 2010, debsnature from Hanover, PA wrote:

I grew 4 plants from seed (50% germ. rate) and planted them in our red, white, & blue garden. Because tall red cannas stood behind them, only the one on the southern end grew tall and flowered by August. It had almost full sun, so I moved the others further into the sun. Now all 4 are blooming! This plant makes everyone take notice! I will try to bring these inside for winter in pots by sunny sliding glass doors. Next year we will definitely plant more of these to compliment several other garden areas.


On May 12, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:

I grow this as an annual in Seattle, in full sun, good soil, moderate water. It spreads and blooms more and more profusely from July into fall, until a hard frost kills it. Hummingbirds visit it. Not super showy but the color is divine.


On Jun 1, 2008, straea from Somerville, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Uncharacteristically for salvias, this beautiful plant forms a tuber that can be dug and stored over the winter in colder climates like mine. I've had great luck growing this here in full sun in humusy soil or in pots. I've seen others here growing it in large hanging baskets too - beautiful! What a gorgeous plant this is, with flowers the color of the bluest blue sky you can imagine.


On Jan 7, 2007, Joy from Kalama, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This salvia isn't evergreen in my zone 8b garden.
It dies down to the ground after our first really good frost. But it has reliably come back up each spring, though it's a later showing than some.
Super easy plant to grow from seed.


On Oct 20, 2005, Evert from Helsinki,
Finland (Zone 4b) wrote:

Beautiful true blue flowers, grows big and produces lots of flowers and seeds in the late Summer. Tolerates cold nights quite well.


On Jul 9, 2005, fluffygrue from Manchester,
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

Grows well in full sun in thick clay, but won't overwinter in the UK there. You'll need to stop snails devouring the small plants - I find it easier to start them in pots until they're a couple of feet high. But they're absolutely fantastic - such an intense dark blue.


On Aug 28, 2003, Happenstance from Northern California, CA wrote:

Fast grower, absolutely BLUE flowers, that standout anywhere in the garden.


On Sep 9, 2002, jkom51 from Oakland, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Only 1 month old from 1-gallon can but already has grown a third larger. Incredible clear blue flowers really stand out, adds lovely vertical accent as well. Probably likes warmth (No.Cal. just started its 'summer' heat in Sept.), a weekly watering and good drainage (like all sages). Got a second one and hope it will do as well as the first. Will keep posted on how well it does through our rainy winter. It is an evergreen, leaves are a clear green color.