Purple Sage

Scientific Name:

Salvia dorrii


Herbaceous Plant


Mountainous areas with dry soil


Western United States


No listed status

This species is


to the Truckee Meadows.


Purple sage, also called Dorr’s sage, is a fragrant, herbaceous perennial or woody shrub with rough, peeling bark. It grows up to 36 inches in diameter and up to 32 inches high. Purple sage eaves are soft and silvery, like other plants we call sage, and they can grow to 4 centimeters long and 1.5 centimeters wide. Around Reno, the blue-purple flowers bloom in May.

Fast Facts:

  • “Salvia,” the name of the genus, comes from Latin salveo, meaning “I am well.”

  • While found throughout the arid western states, purple sage is also used as an ornamental plant.

  • Purple sage has historically been used by many indigenous American tribes for a wide array of medicinal purposes, including treating colds, headaches, influenza, and epilepsy.



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