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Salvia Species, Dorr's Sage, Mint Sage, Purple Sage, Tobacco Sage

Salvia dorrii

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: dorrii
Synonym:Audibertia dorrii
Synonym:Audibertiella argentea
Synonym:Audibertiella dorrii
Synonym:Ramona dorrii
» View all varieties of Salvias




24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

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)

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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Bloom Color:

Dark Blue


Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid 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 seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

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

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

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:

Chino Valley, Arizona

Mesa, Arizona

Payson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Huntington, Arkansas

Boise, Idaho

Garden City, Idaho

Meridian, Idaho (2 reports)

Twin Falls, Idaho

Sparks, Nevada

Albuquerque, New Mexico

La Luz, New Mexico

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Dallas, Texas

El Paso, Texas

Granbury, Texas

Houston, Texas

Irving, Texas

Lubbock, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

Santaquin, Utah

Malaga, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 3, 2016, amelliso from Lubbock, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

These grow all over town here in Lubbock, TX. They handle the extreme heat here, even from asphalt and concrete. Anytime it rains, it triggers a flush of blooms. The plant is very attractive with purple blooms set against silvery-green foliage. My neighbor has a couple flanking his driveway, and I've never noticed any seedlings, so I don't think we have a problem with spreading here. A regular watering schedule, such as for a yard or lawn, will keep it in bloom, although perhaps not as heavy a bloom as a rain will trigger. (We have awful, salty tapwater here.)
Overall, I love these and wish I had a place for one in my yard.


On Aug 28, 2012, idahocactus2 from Boise, ID wrote:

Salvia dorrii is a local growing plant that is seldom seen in gardens here in the Boise Valley. Much of the habitat of the plant has been destroyed here in the farming region, but it does have healthy populations in Owyhee County and other counties within this area. It grows in very sandy to talus soils here, and is a plant that is easy to grow in the yard, if you neglect the plant. It needs no extra water and the most common flowers are lavender to purple. We even have rarer colors within the population here of white, pink, pale blues, deep blues and other shades. Many of the native specimans are short and rarely over a foot tall and usually much wider, but there are some areas where the salivas grow close to 3 feet and possibly more.

A plant that is worth having in t... read more


On Apr 17, 2011, dparsons01 from Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7b) wrote:

Very good in our cry climate in New Mexico. Requires very little water. Deals with heat and cold. Nice flowers. Note I have S. dorrii v. Carnosa.


On Dec 9, 2010, steinbeck from Dallas, TX wrote:

I am planning on adding a few of them this next spring. Here in Dallas, they will usually bloom about a week after a rain. It is beautiful, all over town you can see them blooming at the same time. Most of them have a lovely lavender flower.


On Apr 7, 2008, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

On 2/18/07, I wintersowed seeds of a few xeric, silver-leaved sages, including this one. About 7 out of 33 seeds of Salvia dorii germinated, beginning 3/23/07. Although the others thrived, the seedlings of this one wilted and died in their pot within about 6 weeks. The other two that did well were Salvia daghestanica and Salvia cyanescens. Could it be that Salvia dorii is more sensitive to areas of higher humidity and spring rainfall?

All of these sages were wintersown in recycled qt-size yogurt containers, each within a vented plastic baggy. About 1/8" gritty sand was on the surface, the seeds went on top of that, and then they were lightly covered with a sprinkle of more gritty sand. 7 seeds germinated, beginning 3/26/07.

Since Latin binomial names are... read more


On Mar 28, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

Even though this plant is classified as xeric, it takes a bit more water than I originally anticipated. It's now growing slowly but well in clay soil covered with rocks and a bit of water from time to time.