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Salvia cardiophylla

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Salvia cardiophylla

  • Flowers that seem to be carved out of wax
  • Heart shaped leaves

Special Order Plant
Special Order Plant
This plant is available by Special Order
Time to think about Fall Planting
This plant is
Ideal for Fall Planting
Best of Class
Best of Class
We believe this to be the best ultra-cool and rare Salvia.

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(Heart Leaf Sage) From the rich plains of Northern Argentina comes this delicate looking sage with heart-shaped leaves and pale blue flowers so perfect they seem to be molded in wax. Although a slow grower that requires good garden culture, this Salvia is exquisite.

Heart Leaf Sage needs fertile soil that is rich in humus and well drained. It grows well in the ground or in a container. Site it in a warm, sunny spot where it can receive partial shade and no reflected heat. Water and fertilize well. Be patient, as it seems to take a year or more to settle in and become robust. Then sit back and enjoy the lovely foliage and 1-inch-long, striped flowers.

This perennial sage was found by Rolando Uría in Chaco, Argentina in 2009 and is one of the rarest Salvias in the world. It is quite slow to increase, but we highly recommend its beauty.


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Special Order Item  
Out of stock

Common name  
Heart Leaf Sage
USDA Zones  
8 - 11
Size (h/w/fh)  
Full sun to partial shade
Soil type  
Well drained & rich
Water needs  
Pot size  
3 1/2 inch deep pot
Container plant?  
Our price


Email me when back in stock  
Here are some guidelines for success with this plant in your garden.
Click on an individual icon for more detailed information.


Full sun
Full sun
Partial shade
Partial shade

Growing Habit

8 - 11
8 - 11
36 inches tall
36 inches tall
36 inches wide
36 inches wide

Water Needs

Average water
Average water
Water loving
Water loving

Blooming Season

Fall blooming
Fall blooming


Salvias and their companion plants pop with color. Sweep your eyes from top to the bottom here for an impression of this plant's color combinations. The first row displays blossoms from primary to less dominant shades and includes any contrasting throat color. The second tier is the main hue of leaf-like bracts or calyxes supporting the flowers. Foliage (one or two colors) leafs out in the bottom row.
Primary color - Light Purple
RHS# 85B

Throat color - Strong Violet - RHS# 86B

Secondary color - Yellowish white
RHS# 155D

Bract color - Strong Yellowish Green
RHS# 145A

Leaf color - Moderate Olive Green
RHS# 137B

Learn more about how we analyze plant colors
  • Salvia corrugata

    (Corrugated Sage) Dense, purple-blue whorls of flowers complement this evergreen‘s somewhat linear, deeply textured -- or corrugated -- dark green leaves with cottony undersides. It is a handsome native of the Ecuadorian Andes Mountains.

    Corrugated Sage grows quickly and easily up to 6 feet tall and wide. It needs full sun, well-drained soil and regular water to stay in nearly continuous bloom and look it’s best. Occasional pruning of the growing tips or container planting helps restrict the shrub's growth to about 2 to 3 feet tall and wide.

    We enjoy contrasting this plant’s rounded, dense form with taller, airier sages, such as Salvia guaranitica 'Purple Majesty'.

    In addition to planting it in decorative containers, we highly recommend using this plant in shrub borders and moist woodland-style gardens.



  • Salvia melissodora

    (Grape Scented Sage) With the grape scent of its pale lavender blossoms and its long history of medicinal use, it is no surprise that this sage is so widely distributed.

    The indigenous Tarahumara people of Northern Mexico have used this sage for centuries to treat a variety of infirmities. For the gardener today, it offers drought resistance and heat tolerance along with fragrance and color.

    Although it can grow up to 6 feet tall in its native habitat, Grape Scented Sage generally averages growth of 3 feet tall and wide in home gardens. Nevertheless, it is mighty in its ability to ensure pollination in your garden because...

    Warning!  This is a powerful hummingbird, honeybee and butterfly magnet!

    Another benefit is that although humans and small wildlife find it intoxicating, deer don't.

    For a lovely combination, group the lavender and green of Grape Scented Sage with other plants that have strong blue or yellow flowers and which bloom from summer into fall. Give it full sun and well drained soil.

    In the home garden, it makes a fine screen, border or background planting. It also does well in containers and cut-flower gardens. Despite its ability to get by on little water, it is adaptable to average water areas of the yard in very well drained soil. It's a winner.



  • Salvia rhinosina

    (Confused Argentine Sage) Similar in many ways to the indispensable garden favorites of the Anise Scented Sage (Salvia guaranitica spp.) group, this plant is a perfect companion for its better known cousin.

    Both the (S. guaranitica) sages and (Salvia rhinosina) bloom from summer through fall. This Argentinian native has light violet and white flowers that contrast attractively with the deep purples of the anise sages.

    Fountain-like growth and large leaves up to 7 inches long give this lovely South American sage a tropical look in temperate zones. It grows well in full sun to partial shade in USDA Zones 7 to 9.

    Use this plant as you would (Salvia guaranitica spp.) for screening areas or providing a backdrop to other shorter sages in a perennial border. We think it goes especially well with the Black and Blue . Together they offer great contrasts in leaf size and flower color.

    As the common name indicates, the scientific naming of this plant is somewhat confused. However, we are confident that ours is correctly identified. We only began growing this graceful sage in 2012 but already highly recommend it.


  • Salvia sagittata

    (Arrowleaf Sage) Brilliant royal blue flowers and unusual foliage attract the eye to Arrowleaf Sage. This large herbaceous perennial is found at elevations up to 10,000 feet in the Cordillera de los Andes of Chile, Ecuador and Peru.

    Sagittata refers to the arrowhead shaped leaves, which are deeply textured, lime-green and woolly on the undersides. The flowers rise up 1 to 2 feet on dark, leafy spikes from summer into fall.

    This sage is adaptable about settings ranging from full sun to partial shade, but needs at least a few hours of strong sunlight daily to bloom well. It also likes well-drained soil that’s high in organic matter, regular watering and a light feeding once or twice a month during rapid growth.

    Arrowleaf Sage's habit of spreading via suckers makes it a good groundcover. However, it needs some partial-shade time to do this. It also works well in perennial borders and containers as well as along pathways.

    For the best shape and most profuse bloom, cut this sage down to its lowest few active growth nodes in March.
  • Salvia x 'Big Swing'

    (Big Swing Sage) With its large, cobalt blue flowers displayed on strong, wiry, branched stems, this eye-catching sage wins the FBTS "best of class" designation for being our top Big Leaf Sage (Salvia macrophylla).

    Garden writer Betsy Clebsch developed Big Swing, which is a cross between Big Leaf Sage and Arrowleaf Sage (S. sagitata). Its flower spikes rise well above handsome foliage with large, furry, arrowhead-shaped leaves that look almost tropical.

    Use this heat-tolerant plant to bring a lush look to a damp corner of your garden or in mixed patio containers.  Give it rich, well-drained soil and plenty of water for a long bloom season.

    Big Swing comes highly recommended by butterflies, but deer leave it alone.

  • Salvia x superba 'Adora Blue'

    (Adora Blue Meadow Sage) Adora Blue’s upright flower spikes are profuse with deep violet blossoms shaped like parrot beaks. They bloom all summer long on this deciduous, perennial Salvia native to Europe and Asia.

    Densely branched with multiple flower spikes, Adora Blue has fragrant foliage. The hairy, basal leaves of this clumping sage are green and are oblong to lance shaped.

    This petite Meadow Sage grows 12 to 18 inches tall and spreads only 12 inches. It is ideal for massing with other short Salvias along walkways or at the front of mixed border plantings. Due to its vertical habit, it works well as the centerpiece in a container of mixed plants. Cottage, cut flower, rock and woodland gardens are also good venues for this drought-resistant but water-loving sage. Locations with morning sun and afternoon shade are best.

    Similar to other Meadow Sages, Adora Blue is cold tolerant and grows well in USDA Zones 5 to 9. Although it can survive drought, this sage needs regular watering for best bloom. Keep it moist but not soggy. Plant it in average garden soil that isn’t too rich, but contains enough organic matter for good drainage. If you live in a coastal area, part of the great news about this plant is that it can handle salty air and soil.

    Salvia x superba cultivars are related to Salvia x sylvestris, which is a hybrid of two other Meadow Sages. They are Salvia pratensis, which was first reported in England in 1696, and its relative Salvia nemorosa. The Meadow Sages are a closely connected group.

    Butterflies love Adora Blue; similar to other kinds of Salvia it is rich in nectar. However, the plant’s foliage isn’t tasty to deer and rabbits.


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Hummingbirds love Salvia (sage) nectar and are attracted to it by the bright colors of tubular sage blossoms. In particular, these little whirlybirds can easily spot flowers in the red spectrum, which is prevalent among sages. Here are some hummingbird gardening tips.

  1. Go tubular. Hummingbirds need tubular flowers that are easy for long, thin beaks to access.
  2. Provide lots of color. Think of yourself as a cafeteria manager who needs to provide many tempting choices in order to attract business. Red, pink, orange and purple sages are particularly powerful hummingbird magnets.
  3. Keep your garden blooming. Plant a variety of Salvias based not only on color but also a broad span of bloom times. Many flower from spring into fall. Others are prolific fountains of nectar for shorter seasons. Numerous winter-blooming species are available for areas that are home to hummingbirds year round.
  4. Grow sages native to the Western Hemisphere. Although hummingbirds will take advantage of many kinds of tubular flowering plants, these tiny birds are native to the Western Hemisphere and prefer flowering plants native to their half of the world.
  5. Select Salvia companion plants. Hummingbirds appreciate a variety of favorite tubular-flowered plants.
  6. Plant hummingbird gardens near cover. Trees and bushes surrounding feeding areas provide protection from predators and chilly, rainy weather.
  7. Don't use pesticides. Insects provide protein for hummingbirds, so don't kill these food sources.
  8. Provide water. Hummingbirds frolic in misters and shallow birdbaths.
  9. Supplement plantings with feeder tubes. Change the sugar water every few days and don't add food coloring. Keep the feeders clean, but don't scrub them with soaps or detergents. Here is more feeder care information.
  10. Read more. Our Everything Salvias Blog offers a number of articles about hummingbirds.

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Received this salvia in May- it has quadrupled in size @ least - starting blooming in July & was still beautiful in October!!- planted on slight slope so as to drain well with our damp wet winters here in New York- if this over winters , I will be...
Karen Palmer
Nov 19, 2015