Salvia, Mealy Cup Sage, Mealycup Sage 'Rhea'

Salvia farinacea

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: farinacea (far-ih-NAH-kee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Rhea
» View all varieties of Salvias





24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Bloom Color:

Dark Blue


White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter





Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

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

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Grass Valley, California

Montclair, California

Aurora, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Debary, Florida

Palm Coast, Florida

Hinsdale, Illinois

Olathe, Kansas

Hebron, Kentucky

Danvers, Massachusetts

Mashpee, Massachusetts

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Beaumont, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Haltom City, Texas

Houston, Texas

Linden, Texas

Graham, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 23, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

The mother species is a native perennial of Texas, southern New Mexico, and northern Mexico, and it gets about 3 feet high. This cultivar is a compact dwarf that gets about 14" high, though it can range from 12" to 18" high. It bears dark blue-purple tubular flowers in dense narrow spike clusters. Its cold hardiness is usually listed as USDA Zone 8. North of Zone 8 it is used as a very popular annual. It is very similar to the more commonly planted 'Victoria Blue' cultivar that is a little taller with slightly less dark flowers that are closer to blue, though still blue-purple. It is a very reliable flower for sunny sites with well-drained soil from moderately acid to very alkaline.


On Jun 27, 2013, rosepetal2 from Danvers, MA wrote:

Salvia farinacea 'Rhea' is reliable perennial for me in Z6b here along coast in MA. Overtime I've have bought various containers at HD/Lowes/Walmart and they are all true to cultivar. Although cheap, Rhea salvia is a steady performer and it's easy to identify time to divide when center seems to die - - it self seeds as well. Although drought tolerant, I water feed throughout season and keep curved linking stakes to keep heavy flowered spires upright. Planted in small garden with catnip at feet of White Dawn climbing rose that climbs with Jackmanii clematis up stairs/rails to 2nd story deck. I pinch spent spires and these sage continue to shoot flower spires throughout summer. The soft gray foliage of Rhea and catnip set off the deep purple blossoms continuing vertically with the dee... read more


On Apr 26, 2007, bsharf from Palm Coast, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Pretty blue salvia, sold as an annual bedding plant in Florida.