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Products > Salvia chiapensis
Salvia chiapensis - Chiapas Sage
Image of Salvia chiapensis
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae) (Mints)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Magenta
Bloomtime: Year-round
Height: 2-4 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Cool Sun/Light Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Salvia chiapensis (Chiapas Sage) - A herbaceous perennial which will typically grow 2-4 feet tall by as wide with stems rising from the roots but if happy can reach to 4 feet tall and wide. It has bright ivy-green glossy elliptical leaves that are 3 inches long by 1 1/2 wide and have sunken veins prominently marking the upper surface. Much of the year, but primarily from late summer through winter, appear the bright fuchsia-colored flowers that have green calyces and are borne in well-spaced whorls of 3 to 6 flowers on erect foot tall stems.

Plant in a well-drained soil rich with organic matter in full coastal sun to shade or part sun - grows larger in the shade and resents heavy soils. This cloud forest plant requires regular irrigation. It is best in frost free zones and some list it not tolerant to any frost though we have found it can survive short duration temperatures down to the 25 F and others report it hardy down to 20 F. Salvia authority Rich Dufresne reported that he has it survive winters in mulched raised beds in his Greensboro, North Carolina garden (USDA Zone 7b). Best if cut back hard in late winter or early spring to encourage fresh new growth. This is a very nice plant in a shade garden in mild climates or for a container planting (even a hanging basket) in colder locations. It is attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies but unfortunately also apparently attractive to deer. It can reseed into the irrigated garden.

This plant comes from the area near San Cristobal at an elevation between 7000 to 9,500 feet in the province of Chiapas, Mexico. It was first collected in 1981 by a group collecting for the University of California Berkeley Botanic Garden. We also grow a hybrid that is speculated to be between Salvia chiapensis and Salvia 'Waverly' that was a spontaneous seedling hybrid found in Singer/ Songwriter Karla Bonoff's Santa Barbara area garden that we introduced in 2011 as Salvia 'Karla'. This plant is more compact than Salvia 'Waverly' and has fuzzy pale violet-pink flowers with no white in it at all. 

This information about Salvia chiapensis displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.