Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) on 8-20-19, #615-21.

Anise-Scented Sage, Blue Anise Sage, Brazilian Sage

Salvia guaranitica

SAL-vee-uh  gwar-uh-NYE-tik-uh

Synonyms of Salvia guaranitica (5) (Updated on 1-2-23 from Plants of the World Online): Salvia ambigens Briq. (1889), Salvia coerulea Benth. (1833), Salvia coerulea var. regnellii Benth. (1849), Salvia hoveyi Anon. (1880), Salvia melanocalyx Briq. (1896)

Salvia guaranitica A. St.-Hil. ex Benth. is the accepted scientific name for this species of Salvia. It was described as such by George Bentham in Labiatarum Genera et Species in 1833. Mr. Bentham gives credit to Auguste François César Prouvençal de Saint-Hilaire for naming the species.

The genus, Salvia L., was named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the first edition of the first volume of Species Plantarum in 1753.

As of 1-2-23 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online lists 1,012 species in the Salvia genus. It is a member of the plant family Lamiaceae with 232 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.


Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) after I brought it home on 4-27-19, #563-7.

I brought three Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ home from Wagler’s Greenhouse on April 27 in 2019. They did great over the summer and even returned in 2020.

Now, this cultivar has been on my wish list for MANY years but I hadn’t found any locally until 2019. I could have ordered it online, but there were four local Amish-owned greenhouses (now there are three because one moved out of town). The fact the greenhouses are Amish-owned has nothing to do with shopping there. I know many Amish and other than their lifestyle they are basically like anyone else. Most of the plants in their greenhouses are bought from suppliers just like any other greenhouse and garden center. They also have plants they have collected and take cuttings from (especially Wagler’s). I trade plants with Mrs. Wagler and most of my plants come from their greenhouse. I prefer shopping locally because I want to help support the community.

ANYWAY… I planted these three plants in the northeast corner bed where they received plenty of sun. I had previously amended the soil with what I call “the good stuff”. It is composted soil from where the cows were fed hay a year or so before, so it is a combination of soil, cow manure, and decomposed hay.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) on 5-1-19, #564-46.

Even though it is recommended they should be spaced 20-24” apart, I planted them a little closer than that. You never know how plants will do and I like a grouping of three plants in this spot. Once they grew over the summer, I realized I should have probably followed the rules. They branched out quite nicely…

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) on 5-5-19, #566-56.

Family: Lamiaceae
Origin: The species is native to Brazil, Paraguay, and northern Brazil. ‘Black and Blue’ is a cultivar.
Zones: USDA Zones 7b-11 (5 to 40° F/-14.9 to 4.5° C), depending on what website you go to.
Size: Usually 2-3’ tall x 2-3’ wide if grown as annuals or perennials. They can grow 3-5’ in some situations.
Light: Full sun to part shade. Best in full sun to light shade.
Soil: Average, evenly-moist, well-drained soil.
Water: Medium
USES: Great in flower beds. Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.
Deer resistant… 

To extend their cold hardiness somewhat, you can mulch them in the fall as long as they are in a well-draining area. If not, the mulch could cause their roots to rot anyway. Also, they have hollow stems, so DO NOT cut the dead stems until spring.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) on 5-5-19, #566-57.

Salvia guaranitica is native to Brazil, Uruguay, and northern Argentina where they grow as perennials or subshrubs. In their native environment, they grow from 3-5 feet or more in height. Grown as a perennial or annual, depending on where you live, they “normally” grow 20 to 30″ or so in height and width. I say “normally” because you never know what plants will do given optimum conditions. My plants branched out just fine on their own, but you can cut them back in late spring so lower their mature height and make them branch out more.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) on 5-5-19, #566-58.

One of the common names of this species is Anise-Scented Sage because of their slightly scented leaves.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) on 5-16-19, #573-9.

Although they “preferred” consistently moist soil, I do get behind sometimes and their leaves would get a little droopy. That was them reminding me they needed some water… I never water my plants when the sun is shining on them but wait until late afternoon or early evening. That way their leaves won’t burn…

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) on 5-16-19, #573-10.

They prefer full sun but also do OK in light shade. Too much shade will make their stems stretch somewhat (etiolate) and they will fall over.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) on 5-25-19, #576-68.

I really liked the black-looking buds… They were quite amazing next to the plant’s dark stems and dark green leaves.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) on 5-28-19, #577-7.

Their dark blue flowers and black calyces were a sight to behold. I finally have Salvia ‘Black and Blue’ to see in person instead of in photos!

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) on 5-28-19, #577-8.

The inflorescences (flower stems) can grow up to 15″ long. The flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) on 6-5-19, #583-28.

Luckily these plants are deer resistant so they didn’t bother them at all. I have grown several Agastache in this area and they especially liked the Agastache ‘Black Adder’ in 2014…

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) on 6-5-19, #583-29.

I take a lot of photos and then run out of words…

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) on 6-15-19, #590-15.


Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) on 6-22-19, #593-42.

Toward the end of June, the ‘Black and Blue’ were really looking great.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) on 8-11-19, #613-37.

By August, the day length was getting shorter, temps were hot, and the ‘Black and Blue’ seemed to be getting tired.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) on 8-20-19, #615-20.

The stems started leaning somewhat but they continued to produce a lot of flowers.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) on 8-20-19, #615-21.

What a beauty!!!


Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) on 5-15-20, #700-23.

We had a fairly mild winter and I was really glad to see the Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ return for another year. Hardly any perennials I plant here return the following year.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ (Anise-Scented Sage) on 6-20-20, #711-13.

The Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ did great in 2020 but I was busier with the garden so I didn’t take any more photos of them. I also identified a lot of wildflowers in 2020.

Unfortunately, they didn’t return in 2021 because we had a VERY cold February. Hopefully, I will run across them again soon…

Someone on a HOUZZ forum wrote about his trick to overwinter Salvia ‘Black and Blue’… “How I successfully overwintered ‘Black and Blue’ Salvia.”

I highly recommend giving Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ a shot. If you can’t find them locally, there are plenty of online sources.

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