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Products > Salvia darcyi
Salvia darcyi - Galeana Red Sage
Image of Salvia darcyi
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae) (Mints)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Red
Bloomtime: Spring/Fall
Synonyms: [Salvia schaffneri, S. oresbia]
Height: 2-4 feet
Width: Spreading
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Salvia darcyi (Galeana Red Sage) - An evergreen to deciduous (winter dependent) salvia that grows 2-4 feet in height out in the open and taller if supported and spreads by stolons to produce wide clumps that are densely covered with the pastel green triangular shaped leaves that have a pleasant aroma when bruised or crushed. In late spring to early summer the long terminal racemes of bright coral-red flowers arise above the foliage and often with a peak in flowering again in fall.

Plant in full to part sun (the more sun the better) and give regular to occasional deep irrigation - tolerates less but doesn't look nearly as nice. It is noted to be cold hardy to at least 20 F and we have heard from a gardener in Southwestern Texas who tells us it withstood 45 consecutive hours in the single digits (Fahrenheit) with a low of 1 F. This is a wonderful floriferous plant and we really love it but it is best cut back hard in the winter and even if this is done regularly, this plant will spread out in the garden so this should be expected.

Salvia darcyi comes from a small area in the eastern Sierra Madre Occidental. The name Salvia comes from the name used by Pliny for a plant in the genus and comes from the Latin word 'salvere' meaning "to save" in reference to the long-believed healing properties of several Sage species. This plant was originally discovered by Carl Schoenfeld and John Fairey of Yucca Do Nursery near Galena, Mexico, in 1988 and in 1991 they guided a British expedition that included British botanist James Compton to a site where it was found growing along a rocky limestone ravine at 9,000 feet in the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range. Though originally called Salvia oresbia, Compton officially described it in a 1994 issue of the journal of Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, naming it after Canadian born botanist William G. D'Arcy, who accompanied him on the collection trip and it is also commonly called Darcy's sage.

Noted Salviaphile Richard Dufressne said of this plant: "This is one of my favorite sages for growing in the Southeastern states. For me it is pleasantly persistent and not invasive. It is a reliable summer bloomer, and forms spikes bearing some of the largest red flowers in the genus". Betsy Clebsch, author of The Book of Salvias is also fond of this sage and notes that "gardeners who are interested in color will find Salvia darcyi an unprecedented plant". We first got this plant from Mountain States Wholesale Nursery and have grown it since 2001. We have several large plantings of it in the nursery. 

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