Scarlet Sage

Salvia coccinea

Other common name(s):

Tropical Sage


Lamiaceae (Mint Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Cross Timbers, East Central Texas Plains, Edwards Plateau, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, Southern Texas Plains, Texas Blackland Prairies, Western Gulf Coastal Plain
Grand Prairie, Western Cross Timbers
Bastrop Lost Pines, Floodplains and Low Terraces2, San Antonio Prairie, Southern Post Oak Savanna
Balcones Canyonlands, Llano Uplift
Floodplains and Low Terraces4, Laguna Madre Barrier Island and Coastal Marshes, Lower Rio Grande Alluvial Floodplain, Lower Rio Grande Valley, Mid-Coast Barrier Islands and Coastal Marshes, Northern Humid Gulf Coastal Prairies, Southern Subhumid Gulf Coastal Prairies, Texas-Louisiana Coastal Marshes
Rio Grande Floodplain and Terraces, Texas-Tamaulipan Thornscrub
Floodplains and Low Terraces1, Northern Blackland Prairie, Southern Blackland Prairie
Flatwoods, Floodplains and Low Terraces3, Southern Tertiary Uplands

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form






Leaf Retention




Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Loam, Clay, Rocky, Caliche, Moist, Dry

Light Requirement

Sun, Part Shade, Shade

Water Requirement

Low, Medium

Native Habitat

Grassland, Woodland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

White, Red, Pink

Bloom Season

Spring, Summer, Fall

Seasonal Interest

Nectar, Pollen

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Bees


Native habitat, in sandy soils, but will grow in a variety of conditions throughout Texas. It will act like an annual in the colder areas. Tends to get leggy in rich soils with abundant water. Periodically trim to keep it bushy. It will do its best in dry, sunny or shady areas with soils you can’t get anything else to grow in. Propagation: Seed.


Blooms January-December, depending on region. Short-lived perennial that re-seeds easily. Blooms May through first frost. Square stems bear red to pink flowers (rarely white). It has pungent foliage that makes it fairly deer resistant. Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.


1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) Miller, George O., Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas 2nd Ed., 2013, pg 48. 3) Wasowski and Wasowski, Native Texas Plants Landscaping Region by Region, 1991, pg. 207. 4) 5), 6), 7) Native and Adapted Landscape Plants, City of Austin and Texas A&M, 2014.

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