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Blue Sage

Photo by Nancy Goulden

Common Name: Blue Sage

Scientific Name: Salvia azurea

Family: Mint

Longevity: Perennial

Height: 2 - 4 feet

Bloom Period: June and July

 

Description: Stems are erect and square. Leaves are lance-shaped to linear and opposite. Showy blue, two-lipped flowers are borne on a spike at the top of the plant.

Comments: Long-tongued bees, especially bumble bees, use the broad lower lip as a landing platform. As it probes the flower tube for nectar, the bee pushes against the lower end of a see-saw-like structure containing pollen, causing the upper end of the see-saw to sweep down and deposit the pollen on the bee’s back. Pollination occurs when the bee moves to another flower and pollen from the bee’s back is brushed off onto the female part of the flower. The waving, blue flowers of Blue Sage are found in the eastern three-quarters of Kansas on upland prairies, roadsides and pastures.

Photo by Barry Raugust