Salvia splendens, the scarlet sage or tropical sage, is a tender herbaceous perennial native to Brazil, growing at 2,000 to 3,000 m elevation where it is warm year-round and with high humidity. Wild plants can reache 1.3 m tall.
Although the scarlet varieties are the best known, Salvia splendens does come in other colors, including white, salmon, pink, purple, lavender, burgundy, and orange. Salvia splendens reaches 18 to 30 inches in height. Its flowers grow on spikes and are quite showy. The dark-green, heart-shaped, 3-inch leaves give off a smell that mammalian pests dislike, making them both deer-resistant and rabbit-proof plants. Indigenous to Brazil, where they grow as perennials due to the hot climate, red salvia flowers are treated as if they were annual plants in temperate zones: they are damaged by hard frosts and will not survive through cold winters.