Salvia koyamae
Common Name: sage 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Japan
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to October
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer


Best grown in deep, rich, humusy, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade. Unlike most salvias, this species prefers part shade and will also grow in close to full shade. Full sun is not recommended in hot summer conditions. Foliage spreads over time to form an interesting ground cover. Plants may self-seed under optimum growing conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Salvia koyamae, sometimes commonly called yellow sage, is a woodland groundcover salvia that will creep about the landscape with somewhat trailing stems. It is noted for its excellent foliage and yellow flowers. Hairy, arrow-shaped (cordate-sagittate), green leaves (to 6” long and 5” wide) form an attractive ground cover when plants are not in bloom. Two-lipped pale yellow flowers bloom in late summer to early fall on spikes atop stiff flowering stems to 18-24” tall. Plants are native to Honshu Island in Japan, but are infrequently found in such habitat today.

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.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Plant in groups or mass in open woodland gardens. Good flowering plant for part shade locations. Foliage forms an attractive ground cover.