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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Anderson

Plant Portrait: Lyreleaf Sage

Here’s a beautiful, blue-flowering, high-pollinator-value plant for just about every situation: Lyreleaf Sage, or Salvia lyrata.

Lyreleaf Sage grows in sun or shade, although dappled shade is optimal.  It tolerates periodic flooding--great for a rain garden--as well as drought once established, which takes two to three years.

Here’s the “Wow!”  Lyreleaf Sage tolerates

foot traffic, and its evergreen basal leaves, tinged purple in winter, make a great lawn alternative.  It also handles mowing, and to prevent further seed spread, mow after the flowers fade.  Try Lyreleaf Sage instead of the invasive Bugleweed, Ajuga reptans.

Lyreleaf Sage’s flowers bloom in whorls along the stalk from spring into summer.  It attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, and its extended bottom lip makes a perfect landing spot for native bees.  Birds love the seeds, or nutlets.

In the wild, Lyre-leaf Sage grows in forests, well-drained floodplains, rocky slopes and along roadsides and in fields. 

Lyreleaf Sage tops out at 1 to 2 feet when in bloom; and as with most members of Lamiaceae–the Mint family–deer and rabbits largely avoid it.  

Fun Fact : Each basal leaf is lobed, somewhat resembling a lyre.


About the author:

Jennifer Anderson is the owner of Tree Talk Natives, a native tree and plant nursery in Rochester, Mass. She is a former news reporter, loves to talk native plants and can be reached at



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