Salvia involucrata

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 Salvia involucrata subsp. var.  Roseleaf sage, Rosyleaf sage
Salvia involucrata0.jpg
Habit: shrub
Height: to
Width: to
5ft 5ft
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Width: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to 5 ft
Lifespan: perennial
Origin: Mexico
Bloom: early summer, mid summer, late summer, early fall, mid fall, late fall
Exposure: sun, part-sun
Water: moderate
Features: flowers
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: 9 to 11
Sunset Zones: 8-24, 27-30
Flower features: red, pink
Lamiaceae > Salvia involucrata var. ,

Large subshrub, sparsely branched, but dense with velvety rich green ovate leaves, up to 5in (13cm) long. Purplish red flowers come late summer to mid fall, in clusters up to a foot long, with individual flowers to 2in (5cm). Flowers have prominent bracts which are pink, and which fall with the opening of the flowers. Perennial, but may be grown as annual in cold winter climates.

Salvia involucrata (Roseleaf sage) is a herbaceous perennial belonging to the family Lamiaceae.[1] It is native to the Mexican states of Puebla, Tamaulipas, and Veracruz, growing in shady places such as the edge of forests. Its specific epithet, "involucrata", refers to the prominent flower bracts, which are large and colorful.[2]


Salvia involucrata grows five feet or taller before it starts blooming in late summer. The plant's flowers and bracts are a reddish, beetroot color. The bracts occur in pairs which envelop three flowers each, falling away as the flowers expand. The plant's leaves are small, flat mid-green, slightly cordate-shaped. Unusually, the leaves' petioles and veins share the flowers' beetroot-reddish hue.[2] Genetically, the species has eleven (11) tetraploidal chromosomes.[3]

Several unique cultivars have been collected in the wild and named. Two that are common in France and Britain are 'Bethelii', which was introduced in 1881 for its compact habit and large ovoid leaves, and 'Deschamsiana', which was chosen in 1869 for the bright rose color of its inflated flowers. Cultivars that have found popularity in the U.S. include 'Hidalgo', 'El Butano', and 'El Cielo'—each named after the place in Mexico where it was collected.[2]

Salvia involucrata breeds freely with other Salvia species, resulting in many hybrids at University of California Botanical Garden that show hybrid vigor. Some of these hybrid plants are known to grow up to six feet high, with a longer blooming period. 'Mulberry Jam', a smaller hybrid with upright growth, stronger stems, and continuous blooming from summer to frost was introduced in 1995 by Betsy Clebsch.[2]

As a garden plant, it prefers good drainage, half to three-quarter a day of sun, humus enriched soil, and deep watering once a week. Propagation is by division or cuttings, which can be rooted in late summer or early autumn. The plant will grow back from the ground after light freezes. In early spring, it should be pruned back to active nodes a few inches from the crown.[2]

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Salvia involucrata, Cav. Half-hardy subshrub, several feet high: sts. shrubby; the branches elongated: lvs. petiolate, 2-3 in. long, ovate, acuminate, crenate-serrate at the middle, the base rotund-cuneate, glabrous; floral lvs. bract-like, sessile, broad-ovate, acuminate, colored, deciduous after anthesis: racemes spicate, in fl. subglobose, at length 4-6 in. long; floral whorls about 6-fld., approximate; calyx tubular-campanulate, striate, viscous, often colored, the teeth setaceous-acuminate; corolla rose, tube ventricose, generally long-exserted, sometimes short, galea villous. Aug. Mex. and Cent. Amer.—The floral lvs. are large, showy, and rather a rose-purple, the fls. frequently shading toward purple, Var. Bethellii, Hort. (S. Bethellii, Hort.), is a horticultural form with large, cordate-oval lvs. and bright rosy crimson or puce fls. borne in large terminal whorled spikes. Var. Deschampsiana, Verl., grows 3 ft. or more high: lvs. cordate-acuminate: fls. in ovate spicate terminal clusters: bracts ovate, caducous, they and the calyx bright red; corolla bright rose. French garden origin.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


S. involucrata calendar?
March: prune
July: flowering
August: flowering
September: flowering
October: flowering

Outdoors, Rosyleaf sage should be planted in soil that is light and somewhat fertile. Humus-rich moist soil is best, but good drainage is important. Grow in full sun to part shade, keeping in mind that those with dense/wooly leaves need full sun and particularly good drainage. Cut back water sharply in the winter. Should be heavily pruned each spring.

Indoors the plant should be grown under glass, in a potting mix with good drainage. Give it full light, with protection from strong direct sun. Water and fertilize freely while the plant is growing and blooming, but water very little in the winter, and do not fertlize.


  • Cuttings - Root basal or softwood cutting from spring to early summer. Semi-ripe cuttings can be taken as well in late summer/autumn, and given bottom heat.
  • Seed - sow in spring in containers in cold frame, or in situ after frost danger is past.
  • Division - divide in spring.

Pests and diseases

  • Common - rust, powdery mildew, stem rot, fungal leaf spots.
  • Occasional - whiteflies, mealybugs, aphids, spidermites.


  • 'Bethellii' - has larger leaves which are also more velvety. Flowers are a bright purplish-crimson.
  • 'Mulberry Jam' - smaller upright hybrid which blooms continuously from summer to frost



External links

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