Salvia fulgens

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Salvia fulgens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Salvia
Species: S. fulgens
Binomial name
Salvia fulgens

Salvia cardinalis Kunth.

Salvia fulgens (Cardinal sage or Mexican scarlet sage) is a species of flowering plant native to the Mexican mountains adjacent to the state of Puebla, growing at 8,700-11,000 ft elevation. It prefers the edge of oak and coniferous woodlands, especially in clearings of Abies religiosa. The mountains receive fog and rain nearly year-round.


Salvia fulgens is a small subshrub growing 50–100 cm (20–39 in) tall by 40–90 cm (16–35 in) wide. The 3 cm (1 in) long flowers grow in loose whorls, and are brilliant red, reflecting the common name and the synonym S. cardinalis. The upper lip has red hairs which glisten (fulgens)[1] in the morning dew. A reddish-brown calyx remains long after the flowers drop. Inflorescences are usually about 4 in long, though occasionally a 12 in inflorescence appears. The heart-shaped leaves are pale yellow-green, about 1.5 in long by 1 in wide, and cover the plant quite profusely.

It was introduced into Western horticulture in the 19th century. It has been grown in Britain for many years.[2] It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[3]


  1. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315. 
  2. ^ Clebsch, Betsy; Barner, Carol D. (2003). The New Book of Salvias. Timber Press. p. 127. ISBN 978-0-88192-560-9. 
  3. ^ Salvia fulgens AGM, Royal Horticultural Society, accessed July 2012