Salvia coccinea

scarlet sage, tropical sage, blood sage

Lamiaceae (Labiatae)

wildlife plant   wildlife plant   wildlife plant

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Use this link to get more info about this plant from the USF Institute for Systematic Botany

Plant Specifics

Form: flower
Life Span: annual
Size: Height: 2-6 ft    Width: .5-2 ft
Flower Color: flower color   flower color      pink,red
Fruit Color: 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: light requirement   light requirement  
Moisture Tolerance:
Salt Tolerance: Moderately salt tolerant
Soil or other substrate: Sand
Soil pH Range: 5.5 to 7.5


wildlife plant   wildlife plant   wildlife plant  
Attracts numerous pollinators - butterflies, hummingbirds, nut-hatches, warblers, and bumblebees.
Native Habitats: Disturbed sites, calcareous bluffs, shell mounds.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida

USDA Zones:

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures

Suitable to grow in:


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....

Other 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.