Salvia Species, Andean Silverleaf Sage, Concolor Sage, Peruvian Sage

Salvia discolor

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: discolor (DIS-kol-or) (Info)
Synonym:Salvia bonplandiana
Synonym:Salvia nigricans
» View all varieties of Salvias




12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 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)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Dark Purple/Black

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Blooms all year



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 semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Albany, California

Corona, California

San Francisco, California

Spring Valley, California

Vista, California(9 reports)

Deland, Florida

Somerville, Massachusetts

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

San Antonio, Texas(2 reports)

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 18, 2017, Shirrush from Ramat Gan,
Israel wrote:

I just bought a plant in a retail nursery of the undeclared free-trade zone at the Palestinian boundary, for NIS 5.-, much less than $2.-!
It is a rare species, and maybe I took advantage of an equally rare pricing mistake!


On Sep 15, 2014, lancer23 from San Francisco, CA wrote:

Got my plant started from a small cutting. Its easily rooted. Its so easy to care for I don't know why its not as commonly grown as it should be. It tolerates poor soil and neglect. A lot of times I forgot to water it until it wilts terribly. I'm agreeing with the person who said the leaves and stem's sticky. You really needs to wash your hand after you touch any part of this plant. It must be a natural defense to insects because I've not seen any damage on this plant; I've seen other salvia being knaw on. Indeed its a wonderful looking plant, well scented too.


On Mar 30, 2012, cloud91977 from Spring Valley, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

The leaves of this plant are, IMO, the most deliciously-scented of the salvias. In addition, the eggplant purple flowers are some of the most beautiful amongst the salvias because of the way the color plays off the apple green leaf-tops and the dusty white leaf-bottoms. The long stems make suberb cut flowers that last a week or more in a vase. Additionally, the dried leaves can be used in potpourris and dried arrangements.

Blooms most of the year here in San Diego, CA. Does not require feeding. Thrives on a deep watering every 2-4 weeks (depending on the heat).

The only downside to this plant is that the stalks (but not the leaves or flowers) are very sticky. The resin can stain your clothes, so protection or care is needed when handling the plant.


On Oct 19, 2008, straea from Somerville, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

WOW is this plant a knockout! I already have a weakness for salvias, and this enchanting plant has greatly increased it. Words can't fully describe the loveliness of the silvery-topped, white-bottomed leaves or the beauty of the black bracts against the silver once it blooms. I think it's better to look at photos of this plant to get a sense of it than to try to read descriptions like mine.

This plant seems very difficult to find here in the US (this year is the first time I've found it in 5 years of trying) so I am going to try overwintering mine inside now that I've finally got a plant and seeing how it does.


On Oct 10, 2004, KMAC from Co. Cork,
Ireland (Zone 9a) wrote:

The very dark flowers, almost black, have a delicious scent of blackcurrants.


On Sep 7, 2003, Evert from Helsinki,
Finland (Zone 4b) wrote:

Very easy to propagate from cuttings, they grow roots fast in a glass of water.


On Sep 1, 2001, Baa wrote:

Perennial Salvia from Peru, Has ovate densely white-woolly, entire mid green stems and leaves up to 2 inches long. Bears long terminal racemes of very deep purple/black flowers from white woolly calyces.

Flowers anytime from May-October sometimes flowers twice if flowering early.

Likes well drained soil and needs winter protection as only frost hardy. Water very sparingly in winter.