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West Indian sage
Salvia occidentalis

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes. Also a creeping groundcover in moist to relatively dry areas.

Ecological Restoration Notes: Although West Indian sage can be used to cover ground, it is weedy in nature and must be monitored.

Availability: Rarely grown by enthusiasts.

Description: Small herbaceous wildflower, usually creeping along the ground.

Dimensions: About 3-6 inches in height. Spreading and forming large, open or dense patches several feet across.

Growth Rate: Fast.

Range: Miami-Dade and Collier counties north to Palm Beach and Lee Counties, mostly within 30 miles of the coast; West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Disturbed uplands and (rarely) hammock edges.

Soils: Moist, well-drained soils, with humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Light shade to full sun.

Flower Color: Blue.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy.

Flowering Season: Spring-fall.

Fruit: Inconspicuous nutlet.

Wildlife and Ecology: Nectar plant for butterflies.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from cuttings, division or seed.

Comments: This is commonly weedy and must be closely watched.

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Other data on Salvia occidentalis available from:

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