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Salvia patens

Salvia patens (Photo: *)

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Lamiales

Familia: Lamiaceae
Subfamilia: Nepetoideae
Tribus: Mentheae
Subtribus: Salviinae
Genus: Salvia
Subgenus: S. subg. Calosphace
Sectio: S. sect. Standleyana
Species: Salvia patens

Salvia patens Cav., Icones 5: 33, t. 454 (1799).

Type: Mexico: [Hidalgo.] "Habitat in umbrosis prope Real del Monte in Nova Hispania. Floret Augusto," Née s.n. (holotype: MA).


Salvia decipiens Mart. & Gal., Bull. Acad. Roy. Sci. Bruxelles 11(2): 64 (1844).
Salvia grandiflora Nee ex Cav., Icon. 5: 33 (1799), nom. illeg. non Mill. (1777).
Salvia spectabilis Kunth, Nov. Gen. Sp. (quarto ed.) 2: 304 (1818 publ. 1817).

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Northern America
Regional: Mexico
Mexico Central, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest.
Continental: Southern America
Regional: Central America

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Cavanilles, A.J. 1799. Icones et descriptiones plantarum, quae aut sponte in Hispania crescunt, aut in hortis hospitantur. Vol. V, 82 pp. 401–500bis pl. Ex Regia Typographia, Matriti [Madrid]. Biblioteca Digital. Reference page.

Additional references

Turner, B.L. 2011. Recension of Mexican species of Salvia sect. Standleyana (Lamiaceae). Phytoneuron 23: 1–6 (2!). PDFReference page.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2022. Salvia patens in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2022 May 14. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2022. Salvia patens. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2022. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2022 May 14. Reference page. 2022. Salvia patens. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 14 May 2022.
International Plant Names Index. 2022. Salvia patens. Published online. Accessed: May 14 2022.

Vernacular names
English: sage, blue-flowered sage, Gentian sage
español: Flor del Gallito
Nederlands: blauwe salie
svenska: Blåsalvia

Salvia patens, the gentian sage or spreading sage, is a species of flowering plant in the sage family Lamiaceae that is native to a wide area of central Mexico. This herbaceous perennial was introduced into horticulture in 1838 and popularized a hundred years later by the Irish gardener and botanist William Robinson (1838-1935).[1]

Salvia patens is tuberous, and easily lifted for overwintering in a greenhouse. The more common varieties reach 30–60 cm (12–24 in) tall and wide, and are covered with hastate shaped mistletoe-green leaves. Inflorescences reach 15 to 30 cm (5.9 to 11.8 in) or longer, rising well above the leaves. 2.6 cm (1.0 in) pure blue flowers are spaced along the inflorescence, with a 1.3 cm (0.51 in) green calyx that adds to the attractiveness of the flowers.[1]

The Latin specific epithet patens means "spreading".[2]

Salvia patens is frequently treated as an annual by gardeners due to its sensitivity to hard frost, with bedding plants often put out in spring. Varieties have been developed with colors ranging from white to lilac to various shades of blue. Seeds from the Netherlands have been available since the 1990s for rich colored and large flowered varieties.[1]

The species [3] and its cultivar 'Cambridge Blue'[4] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

William Robinson praised the species in the 1933 edition of The English Flower Garden as, "doubtless, the most brilliant in cultivation, being surpassed by and equalled by few other [garden] flowers."[5] A collecting trip to Mexico in 1991 led by James Compton discovered a 1.8 m (5.9 ft) tall variety with large deep blue flowers that is available as 'Guanajuato'.[1]

Clebsch, Betsy; Barner, Carol D. (2003). The New Book of Salvias. Timber Press. p. 222. ISBN 978-0-88192-560-9.
Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315.
"Salvia patens". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
"Salvia patens 'Cambridge Blue'". RHS. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
Sutton, John (2004). The Gardener's Guide to Growing Salvias. Workman Publishing Company. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-88192-671-2.

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