BLUE SAGE
File Size: 77 KB
 
Salvia azurea  Michx. ex  Lam.
[=Salvia pitcheri Nutt.]
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 2-5 feet
Family: Lamiaceae - Mint Family
Flowering Period:   July, August, September,October
Also Called: Pitcher sage.
Stems: Erect, 1 to several, slender, 4-sided, simple or branched above, mostly short grayish-pubescent.
Leaves: Opposite, simple, short-stalked, lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, 1 to 3 inches long, to 1 inch wide, variously pubescent; margins toothed to nearly entire; tips pointed; lower leaves usually absent at flowering.
Inflorescences: Spike-like, long, interrupted, with 2-8 flowered clusters, terminal.
Flowers: Calyces short-hairy, bluish; corollas 2-lipped, 1/2 to 1 inch long, blue or rarely white; upper lip short, surface densely hairy; lower lip 3-lobed, longer than upper lip; stamens 2, hidden in upper lip.
Fruits: 1-2 nutlets, small, resin-dotted, brown, each 1-seeded.
Habitat: Dry, open, rocky or sandy prairies, pastures, and roadsides.
Distribution: East 4/5 of Kansas.
Forage Value: Pitcher sage is palatable and nutritious for livestock.
Comments: The name Pitcher sage honors Dr. Zina Pitcher, a U.S. Army surgeon and botanist. The roots can descend 6-8 feet.

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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
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