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Salvia africana-lutea (beach salvia)

Beach salvia is a spreading shrub with rounded, greyish leaves and unusual orange-brown flowers.
Flowers of beach salvia

Salvia africana-lutea (Photo: Wolfgang Stuppy)

Species information

Scientific name: 

Salvia africana-lutea L.

Common name: 

beach salvia, dune salvia, golden salvia

Conservation status: 

Least Concern (LC) according to Red List of South African Plants 2009, following IUCN Red List criteria.


Dry hillsides, coastal sand dunes and fynbos near the sea.

Key Uses: 

Ornamental, medicinal.

Known hazards: 

None known.


Genus: Salvia

About this species

Salvia africana-lutea is native to the Cape region of South Africa, an area noted for its exceptionally rich flora and high levels of endemism (species unique to a particular area, region or country).

This species was known by 1731 to Philip Miller, Superintendent at the Chelsea Physic Garden, and was described and named by Linnaeus in Species Plantarum (1753).

Sydenham Edwards illustrated it under the name Salvia aurea in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine in 1792. In the accompanying text William Curtis described it as ‘a hardy greenhouse plant’, adding that ‘such as are delighted with the singular rather than the beautiful appearances of plants, cannot fail of ranking the present species of sage among their favourites.’

Some may consider the rusty-coloured, hooded flowers strange rather than attractive, but this is true of a number of members of the sage family. The related species, Salvia africana-caerulea, has pale blue flowers.


Salvia aurea L., Salvia lutea L., Salvia colorata L., Crolocos aurea (L.) Raf., Salvia eckloniana Benth.


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