Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website

Salvia splendens


Salvia splendens

Family Name: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Common Name: Scarlet Sage


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Shrub
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 0.2 m to 0.9 m


Native Distribution Brazil, Mexico and Southern United States
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a clump forming plant, with upright stems.
Foliage Leaves are opposite, 3 - 8cm long, dark to medium green, elliptical with serrate or toothed margins.
Flowers Flowers are borne in whorls, densely packed on spike-like terminal racemes of about 12 - 25cm long. Flowers are scarlet in colour. The calyces remain on the plant after the flowers have fallen off.
Cultivation Seeds can be sown directly into the ground.
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal: It is purportedly useful for curing diarrhoea and removing mucous congestion. It is also considered useful for drying breast milk in mothers who are trying to wean their babies.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping A classic bedding plant for sunny containers and beds.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Landscape Uses Flowerbed / Border, Container Planting

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird-Attracting (Flowers), Butterfly-Attracting (Flower Nectar)
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage
Foliar Margin Serrate / Toothed
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Red
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal
Individual Flower Shape Tubular
Inflorescence Type Raceme

Image Repository



Master ID 1121
Species ID 2414
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2021.