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ShrubsHerbs - Culinary

Salvia officinalis 'Purpurascens'
  • RHS AGM

purple sage

'Purpurascens' is an aromatic, semi-evergreen dwarf shrub with purple young foliage and stems, becoming grey-green; leaves oblong, 3-6cm in length. Purple-blue flowers 2cm in length in terminal racemes

Synonyms
Salvia officinalis Purpurascens Group
Salvia officinalis 'Purpurea'
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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Grey Silver Purple
Summer Blue Purple Green Grey Silver Purple
Autumn Green Grey Silver Purple
Winter Green Grey Silver Purple
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Drought resistance
Yes
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Lamiaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Semi evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Salvia can be annuals, biennials, herbaceous or evergreen perennials, or shrubs. They have paired, simple or pinnately lobed, often aromatic leaves and 2-lipped flowers in whorls, forming simple or branched spikes or racemes

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Thrives in a sunny spot, in moderately fertile soil with good drainage. Drought tolerant once established. Protect from excess winter wet. See sage cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by softwood cuttings in early summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Mediterranean climate plants
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Gravel garden
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Pruning group 9 in spring. Cut back flower spikes after flowering to keep plants compact

Pests

May be susceptible to rosemary beetle, sage leafhopper and capsid bug

Diseases

May be susceptible to honey fungus (rarely), powdery mildews, verticillium wilt and foot and root rots

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