Rusty sage


Rusty sage

Salvia lanceolata

Scientific name

This upright shrub has light green leaves and dull red, crimson or grey-blue flower, with a shape is typical of the related wild sages.

The colour of the flowers and the shape of the flower indicate that this salvia is pollinated by birds rather than bees like the other salvias. There is a mechanism in the flower than tips the stamen with the pollen onto the birds head once it has inserted in into the plant, thus enabling it to be transferred with the bird to other flowers of this species that the birds visit.

The plants of this family are widely used in cooking and was most likely used historically in traditional medicine.

Propagation instructions

By seed

Propagate by seed or cutting. Sow seeds in a well drained soil from which they will germinate quickly. Pot when true leaves appear.

By cutting

Stem cuttings should be taken in spring, from new growth that is just firming up into semi-hardwood. Use rooting hormone and a mist unit with bottom heat to ensure a higher success rate.

References and further reading

PlantZAfrica profile »

Wikipedia page »

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.
We currently have no seeds of this species in our seedbanks. Do you have any seeds or do you know where we can get some? Get in touch!
We currently have no plants of this species in our home nurseries. Do you have any plants or do you know where we can get some? Get in touch!

This table below shows how many plants we are trying to obtain for this species.

Site Area Quantity
Site #17 Rosebank 20
Site #62 Newlands 10
Total 30

Can you help grow this species?

We are in need of this species! Can you help? Maybe you have this species at home, or perhaps you can collect seeds or cuttings (if applicable) from friends or from a public space. If so, why don't you help establish this species in areas where it is much needed!

I can help!

Important characteristics

Conservation status: Least Concern

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

It provides medicinal value

This nectar-rich species attracts sunbirds and sugarbirds

Salvia lanceolata is indigenous to: Cape Flats Sand Fynbos

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