Salvia patens 'Patio Dark Blue'

Common Name: gentian sage 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Zone: 8 to 10
Height: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to October
Bloom Description: Blue
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer


Best grown in evenly moist, well-draining soils in full sun. Shear back spent flower stalks to encourage reblooming in fall. Propagate from seed or cuttings. Hardy in Zone 8 but widely used as an annual in colder climates. The tubers can also be dug and stored over the winter in the same manner as dahlias.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Salvia patens, commonly called gentian sage, is a herbaceous, tuberous perennial native to dry forests in central and southern Mexico. Mature plants will reach 1-3' tall and spread to fill a 2' area. The upright, slender stems hold oppositely arranged, mostly deltoid (triangle-shaped) foliage, although the leaves can also be hastate (two lobes at the leaf base extend more or less perpendicular from the midvein). Terminal inflorescences reaching 6-12" tall emerge in early summer and bear 1-2" long, showy, two-lipped, bright blue flowers into the fall. The blooms are attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies, and other insect pollinators.

The genus name Salvia comes from the Latin word salveo meaning "to save or heal", in reference to the purported medically curative properties attributed to some plants in the genus.

The specific epithet patens means "spreading", in reference to the lips of the flowers which, when fully opened, create a gaping appearance.

The common name gentian sage refers to the color of the blooms.

'Patio Dark Blue' is a compact selection of gentian sage that features large, dark blue blooms on sturdy, upright stems. Mature plants will reach up to 1' tall and spread to fill a similar area.


No major pest or disease issues of note. Deer tend to avoid this plant.


Mixed borders, Mediterranean garden, cottage garden. Good cut flower for fresh arrangements.

The compact size of 'Patio Dark Blue' makes it suitable for container plantings.