Purple sage – Salvia dorrii

Mint Family – Lamiaceae

Actual flower size: ½ in. long

Actual flower size: ½ in. long

Purple Sage is also called Grayball Sage or Dorr’s Sage.

Plant Description:  Purple Sage is a thick, broad shrub, 8 to 20 inches tall. It is extensively branched with upright stems. Each stem is topped with whorls of blue, purple, or rose, 1/2- inch flowers.  Each flower is supported by two small leaves and broad purplish bracts. The leaves are 1 inch long, opposite, thick and silvery.

Flower Description: The flower is 2-lipped: The upper lip of the flower is 2-lobed; the lower lip is longer, drooping, and divided into 3 parts, a broad, center lobe and two lateral lobes with ragged fringes. There are 2 protruding stamen and an even longer, 2-parted style.

Ecology: Purple Sage grows in dry, rocky soils, usually with sagebrush.

Note: The leaves give off an unusual sour, spicy odor when crushed.

 Purple Sage Photo Gallery

Photo Information: All these photos were taken on June 13, 2008 on the Umtanum Trail, SR 821, Ellensburg WA.

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