Salvia coccinea

Scarlet Sage, Tropical Sage, Blood Sage

Lamiaceae (Labiatae)

Plant Specifics

Size:2-6 ft tall by .5-2 ft wide
Life Span:Annual
Flower Color:Pink,red
Fruit Color:Brown
Noted for:Showy flowers


Recommended Uses:Wildflower gardens and meadows.
Considerations:Readily self-seeds and can be fairly aggressive.
Propagation:Readily self-seeds, seeds can be easily collected by bagging the flowers once they start to wilt.
Availability:Native nurseries, FNPS plant sales, Seed
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Somewhat moist, no flooding ----- to ----- Very long very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Somewhat moist, no flooding ----- to ----- Very long very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Some tolerance to salty wind but not direct salt spray.
Soil or other substrate:Sand
Soil pH:5.5 to 7.5



Attracts hummingbirds, nut-hatches, and warblers.


Attracts butterflies, bumblebees, and other pollinators.

Native Habitats:Disturbed sites, calcareous bluffs, shell mounds.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 11 8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


Ethnobotany:Reports on edibility of this plant are conflicting...and there is potential to confuse this native with other red-flowered Salvia species. People have reported getting a severe stomach ache from consuming a concentrated extract from the flower. Others have suggested that the leaves can be dried and used instead of the imported sages. Both the leaves and flowers have a slightly sour minty taste and have been used in salads or as garnish. Just remember, what you eat is your own responsibility....
General Comments:In mild areas, plants sometimes persist through the winter and will bloom again. They need to be cut way back or they will not be attractive.