Salvia Species, Silver Clary, Silver Sage

Salvia argentea

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: argentea (ar-JEN-tee-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Salvia alpestris
Synonym:Salvia atlantica
Synonym:Salvia aurasiaca
Synonym:Salvia patula
Synonym:Salvia rhodopea
» View all varieties of Salvias
View this plant in a garden




24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer


Grown for foliage



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 seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

By stooling or mound layering

Seed Collecting:

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

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round

Suitable for growing in containers


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


Castro Valley, California

Clayton, California

Cloverdale, California

Encinitas, California

Fairfield, California

Fremont, California

Hesperia, California

Knights Landing, California

Long Beach, California

Oakland, California

Santa Ana, California

Aurora, Colorado

Brighton, Colorado

Denver, Colorado (2 reports)

Parker, Colorado

Brookfield, Connecticut

Buford, Georgia

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Greenville, Indiana

Kalona, Iowa

Fredonia, Kansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Pahrump, Nevada

Raleigh, North Carolina

Glouster, Ohio

Gold Hill, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

The Dalles, Oregon

Walterville, Oregon

Lexington, South Carolina

Spartanburg, South Carolina

Austin, Texas

Bryan, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Lubbock, Texas

Plano, Texas

Logan, Utah

Lexington, Virginia

Cathan, Washington

Olympia, Washington

Stanwood, Washington

Ellsworth, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 13, 2016, klippenshliefer from Toronto,
Canada wrote:

I planted it in a sunny, fairly dry spot last year. I was happy to see it come back this spring. I let it go to seed. I was about to harvest the seed, when I noticed little fuzzy plantlets growing at the end of the seed stalks! I could find no mention of this possibility anywhere. I will let them grow for a while and then try to plant them. Other observations are that the basal rosette of leaves gradually got less fuzzy and more green than gray over the past few months and the seeds are very sticky! All in all a very interesting plant!


On Mar 29, 2007, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I love this plant! From the time the seed germinates, it is like a furry little critter that you want to cuddle up! Unfortunately, slugs love it, too. Blooms in May/June in my garden, and if deadheaded, will live as a perennial.


On Oct 27, 2006, greenkat from Crofton, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

I tried to grow Salvia argentea in Maryland during a hot, humid summer. It just won't work. They looked scraggly and pitiful. I put them out of their misery- I threw them on the compost heap!


On Aug 8, 2006, gardeningrace from Lexington, SC wrote:

First saw this kind of plant at a friend's garden. There it was labeled "Hobbit's Foot" which seems a very appropriate name! I was unable to locate it by that name, though, and am pleased to see what seems to be the same plant but by this name. Anyone know if this is the same one, or ever heard of "Hobbit's Foot" before?


On Jan 31, 2006, BUFFY690 from Prosperity, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I am adding this to a new herb garden I am creating, (An upward spiral) I love the look to thisplant and my daughter loves to pet its fuzzy Huge leaves. Whether it blooms or not is not an issue since I am growing it for its fabulous foilage.


On Jun 15, 2005, Theresa from Marine City, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

I bought this plant at a local SE Michigan nursery. To me it looks like a giant fuzzy lambs ears.
This is the second year I have had it, and much to my surprise, it bloomed. I didnt know it flowered.
I look forward to saving seed and sharing it with my garden friends.


On Jun 3, 2005, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

I grew this in my Catskill mountain garden last year and tried to pot it up and bring it in for the winter, but lost it in my humid basement where temperatures fluctuate from 40 to 80 degrees (wood stove heat), and the only light is from tepid grow lamps. It didn't flower for me outdoors either, but the leaves are so wonderful I didn't really mind. I put a new one outdoors last weekend, but am resigned to it being an annual where I live, at the cold end of zone 5/warm end of zone 4. It seems to thrive in a relatively dry spot in full sun.


On May 29, 2005, saya from Heerlen,
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

Native to Southern Europe, Eastern Mediterranean & North-West Africa. This is a species that is often classefied as a biennial, but in some cases it usually lasts several years and it is therefore best treated as a short lived perennial, which dies down below ground in winter. It is frost hardy to -10 C
This plant cannot be missed in a sensory garden...its caressability is soooo high..for children it gives a attractive opportunity to learn about plants and gardening.


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

Great texture and gray color, needs a good deal of water in 10a, bait for snails & slugs or it will disappear over night.


On Oct 9, 2002, davidwsmith from Linlithgow,

Planted in early August 2002 and the slugs really loved it. Managed to salvage it using standard slug pellets.


On Jul 1, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

For those who like the looks of clary sage but dislike the odor, this is the preferred type. The leaves are much more cobwebbed, but is a favorite food of slugs.

The flowers appear to be pure white, but in the evening sun many pale colors are in evidence: pink, silver, blue, purple.

Mine has relatively few seed, most flowers do not set seed. If flower stalks are allowed to remain on plant, eventually new leaves will form at the base, thus turning this biennial into a perennial.