Salvia greggii 'Radio Red'
Common Name: autumn sage 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Zone: 7 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to October
Bloom Description: Red
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Fragrant
Attracts: Hummingbirds
Tolerate: Drought


Grow in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Best in sandy or rocky soils with sharp drainage. Tolerates heat, humidity and drought but appreciates some part afternoon shade in hot summer climates. In the St. Louis area, plants usually survive winter if grown in protected locations and given a winter mulch.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Salvia greggii, commonly known as autumn sage, Texas sage or red Chihuahuan sage, is a small deciduous sub-shrub that grows to 2-3' tall and as wide. It is native to rocky slopes from western and central Texas into northern Mexico. Small, rounded, oval leaves (to 2" long) are aromatic when crushed. Two-lipped flowers bloom in whorls above the foliage on 3-6" stems from June to October. Flower color is usually a form of red, but may also appear as orange, pink, purple or sometimes white. Best bloom occurs in late spring and fall, with sporadic bloom in the heat of the summer. Flowers are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.

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.

Specific epithet honors Josiah Gregg (1806-1850), botanist and explorer, who first collected this plant on a trip through Texas to Mexico in the mid 1840s.

'Radio Red' is a compact selection of autumn sage that features red-flowers, a well-branched habit, and long blooming period. Bright red, tubular flowers bloom on 4.5" tall, terminal spikes from late spring through fall. Highly attractive to hummingbirds. This plant is protected by patent number PP26362.


No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for whiteflies and aphids. Deer tend to avoid this plant.


Borders, foundations, containers.