AZ Arboretums

Salvia greggii

Autumn SageCommon: Autumn sage, Red Chihuahuan sage, Texas red sage
Family: Lamiaceae
Origin/Range: Chihuahuan desert
Light: Full sun, gets leggy and flower production is poor in shade
Hardy: Hardy to single digits, some top damage may occur in teens
Water: Drought resistant; for best ornamental quality 1-2 times weekly during hot season
Soil: Tolerant, good drainage

Rounded irregular shrub or perennial. Leaves are simple, elliptical, usually 1in long. Flowers appear on stem terminals, spikes of trumpet-shaped, 1in flowers, color usually red, but varies; blooms intermittently from February to November.

Autumn sage forms a nice mounding shrub up to 4 ft (1.2 m) tall by 2 ft (0.6 m) wide. Most of the branches originate near the base of the plant, giving a vase-shaped appearance. Many flower colors are available although shades of red, pink and white are the most common. The leaves are leathery and small, adaptations that probably help prevent moisture loss in its dry native climate. Autumn sage is usually evergreen, but a hard freeze may cause it to die to the ground, usually to reemerge in spring.

S. greggii is a very useful landscape plant and is especially well adapted to hot, desert-like areas. It has a long period of bloom. This Salvia also provides winter interest, due to its evergreen habit. Regular pruning is suggested, since these plants can get woody and spindly.