Tropical sage is a very showy, commonly-planted wildflower that is exceptionally easy to care for. The native tropical sage will reward gardeners year-round with one-inch long, red, salmon, white, or pink blooms, depending on the variety. The abundant flowers are extremely attractive to native wildlife, such as butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. As a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae), tropical sage has aromatic foliage and square stems. At mature height, tropical sage may reach four feet tall. This wildflower makes a wonderful garden plant; however, seedlings should be thinned each year as it has a tendency to spread.
Tropical sage can be found throughout Florida in a variety of upland settings and is widely used in the southern part of the state. Tropical sage is very resilient and can live in a wide range of habitats; however, it does prefer full sun and well-drained soil. As an upland wildflower, tropical sage has minimal salt tolerance and should be protected if planted near a salty environment. While at the Naples Botanical Garden, expect to see tropical sage blooming in the wildflower meadow in the Scott Florida Garden.
-Lacey Bray, Smith Children’s Garden Coordinator