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Salvia (Sage)
at Digging Dog

Including Salvia microphylla, Salvia nemorosa, Salvia pratensis, Salvia greggii, and Salvia involucrata

Salvia

Sage

Thought in ancient times to perpetuate good health, an Arab proverb asks, “How shall a man die with sage in his garden?” Our Salvias are diverse perennials, shrubs or subshrubs. Many of them hail from the Mediterranean, Mexico and South America.

Drought tolerant, reliable once established, and generally pest and disease free, they combine an array of flowers and aromatic foliage in many different sizes, shapes, and hues.

View a slideshow of plant images from this genus


Salvia x ‘Allen Chickering’  full sun  new plant  drought tolerant

Undaunted by deer and drought, this Salvia leucophylla and Salvia clevelandii progeny is a California native originating at Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens. Brew a delicious tea from its spicy scented, graygreen leaves and delight in the hummingbirds, bees and butterflies drawn to its abundance of tubular deep lavender blooms that comprise evenly spaced, ball-like clusters. With a dense shrubby profile, this good-looking reliable Sage will grow quickly in a sunny well-drained locale.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 3' high x 3'–4' wide. Zone 7/8.

Salvia x ‘Allen Chickering’ (P-0336)
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Salvia argentea  full sun
Salvia argentea

This bold Mediterranean native serves up a remarkable portion of eye catching appeal on its almost platter-sized, soft and silky white, felted foliage. Emerging in a dramatic basal clump, new leaves are crinkled, but flatten as they grow, while their margins retain a sinuous wave. A spectacular showing of dramatic 2 to 3 ft. candelabralike stems are decorated in small, white, hooded flowers, each with a slight tinge of pink and a subtle grayish calyx.

After the bloom, leaves transmute to a pale gray-green, and when cooler weather returns, they turn silvery once again. Positively show-stopping along a dry wall, or in the herb garden with Lavender and Rosmarinus ‘Maltese White’, Salvia argentea demands well drained soil, tolerates drought, and will live longer if spent flower stalks are attentively removed.

Blooms June–July.

Size: 5' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 9.

Salvia argentea (p-0678)
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Salvia arizonica  full sun  partial shade
Arizona Sage
Salvia arizonica

A loose mound of luxuriant verdant foliage and trailing stems, this native of southern Arizona, Texas and northern Mexico thrives in the partial shade of small trees and shrubs. With a multitude of small, bright purple flowers held by smoky violet calyxes and a refreshing minty scent, Arizona Sage makes a delightful understory for Euphorbia griffithii ‘Great Dixter’.

Blooms June–July & again in September.

Size: 18" high x 2' & spreading; hardy to zone 7.

Salvia arizonica (p-0771)
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Salvia azurea ‘Nekan’  full sun
Pitcher Sage
Salvia azurea Nekan

Highly esteemed for its densely packed whorls of true sky blue flowers, this U.S. native assures a scene stealing, late season hurrah that beckons both butterflies and gardeners. Numerous slender stems stand tall while narrow, linear gray-green leaves are covered in a downy softness. Exhibiting a vigorous drought, heat and cold tolerant nature, this stalwart beauty deserves a prime position in more gardens.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 3'–4' high x 2'–3' wide; hardy to zone 4.

AVAILABLE MID-SPRING 2014

Salvia azurea ‘Nekan’ (P-0162)
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Salvia ‘Bee’s Bliss’  full sun

A bee’s bliss, a gardener’s good friend, and very welcome indeed is this Salvia’s ability to grow in difficult, dry conditions. An excellent ground cover, ‘Bee’s Bliss’ bears abundant clusters of lavender-colored blossoms, which embellish its bright, dense mat of slender-leafed, aromatic, gray-green foliage. It willingly spills over a wall, softening hard edges, and maintains a tidy look without much care.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 12" high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 9.

Salvia ‘Bee’s Bliss’ (p-0802)
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Salvia brandegeei ‘Pacific Blue’  full sun
Santa Rosa Island Sage
Salvia brandegeei Pacific Blue

The species hails from California’s Channel Islands, while the vigorous cultivar comes from a selection made at the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden. Possessing a versatile tough-as nails persona, long-lived ‘Pacific Blue’ is an upright, mutistemmed shrubby Salvia defined by arched branches and winsome, dark green slender leaves with pebbled surfaces, felted white undersides and a spicy scent. Abundant tiered whorls of dark lavender-tinged blue blooms adorn this fast growing, hummingbird minion that can handle extreme drought, summer water and an array of soils.

Blooms April – June.

Size: 3'–4' high x 4'–6' wide; hardy to zone 8.


Salvia brandegeei ‘Pacific Blue’ (P-1539)
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Salvia cacaliaefolia  full sun
Guatemalan Blue Vine Sage
Salvia cacaliaefolia

Touted some 70 years ago by British garden writer William Robinson, this exceptional, long blooming Salvia offers fuzzy gentian-blue flowers. Its small but abundant, vividly colored blooms garnish terminal racemes above a many stemmed emerald-green foundation of thick triangular leaves.

Indigenous to the mountainous regions of southern Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala, Salvia cacaliaefolia can be found growing as high as 8000 ft., its slow-to-spread, creeping roots thriving with well drained soil, regular water and high shade. A harbinger of cool, late season color, it can be positioned right up front next to Geum ‘Starker’s Magnificum’.

Blooms July–October.

Size: 2'–3' high x 3'–4' wide; hardy to zone 8.

Salvia cacaliaefolia (P-1322)
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Salvia chiapensis  full sun  partial shade
Chiapas Sage

A high-elevation, cloud forest denizen of Chiapas, Mexico, this tender Salvia champions dark green varnished leaves and bright fuchsia-colored blossoms. Widely spaced whorls house grape-hued calyxes and flashy flowers above an airy evergreen foundation of upright stems and deeply veined elliptical leaves, which are attached by long reddish petioles. Tantalizing in a container, hanging basket or the perennial bed, Chiapas Sage detests poor drainage, prefers moderate water, needs a protected winter spot and a pruning to maintain its bushy shape.

Blooms July – October.

Size: 2'–3' high x 3'–4' wide. Zone 8/9.

Salvia chiapensis (P-1538)
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Salvia clevelandii ‘Whirly Blue’  full sun  drought tolerant
Salvia clevelandii Whirly Blue

Native to southern California’s chaparral country and distinctive amongst the shrubby sages for its large deeper colored blossoms, you can usually smell this extremely long blooming, drought tolerant cultivar before it comes into view. The pleasantly sweet and woody aroma is a grace note to its handsome habit. Evergreen, narrow linear leaves have a pewter green tone, punctuated by a springtime flash of bright green stems. Excellent in dried arrangements, ‘Whirly Blue’s rich violet flower whorls, enhanced with dusky mulberry-colored calyxes, are favored by hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. Prune regularly to ensure an attractive appearance.

Blooms June – October.

Size: 4-1/2' high x 4'–5' wide; hardy to zone 8.

Salvia clevelandii ‘Whirly Blue’ (P-1502)
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Salvia confertiflora  full sun
Salvia confertiflora

With velvety, reddish purple stems, smooth, bright green new foliage that matures to a textured dark green, and fuzzy, vermilion flowers, this Brazilian native is lush and tantalizing. Wonderful cut or dried, the 6 to 10 in. long flower spikes make a bold statement in the fall border with Asters and grasses, and combine beautifully with mounding perennials.

Blooms September–November.

Size: 5' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 9.

Salvia confertiflora (p-0214)
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Salvia corrugata  full sun
Salvia corrugata

Widely distributed in the Andes from southern Columbia to Peru, Salvia corrugata features deeply puckered, dark green foliage. While newly emerging leaves have downy, copper-colored undersides, each mature lance-shaped leaf has a sheen on top and contrasting grayish tomentose below. Light gray-green, fuzzy stems are crowned with showy racemes of deep blue flowers held by violet calyxes. This distinctive, upright Salvia makes a great specimen for the mixed border.

Blooms August–October.

Size: 3-1/2'–5' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 9.

Salvia corrugata (P-0965)
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Salvia ‘El Cielo Blue’  full sun  partial shade
Blue Sky Sage
Salvia  El Cielo Blue

Selected by Yucca Do Nursery, the interesting foliage of this upright Mexican native makes it one of our favorite Sages. Broad, tapered leaves have an unusual bluish hue on top, while undersides turn purple as they mature. Contrast this with the vivid green of the new growth, and you’re in for quite a foliar show. Well loved by hummingbirds, the small, iridescent, deep purple flowers display a splash of white in their throats.

Blooms late August–October.

Size: 4' high x 2' wide. Zone 8/9.

Salvia ‘El Cielo Blue’ (P-0866)
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Salvia ‘Eveline’  full sun

Acclaimed garden designer, Piet Oudolf selected this marvelous Salvia pratensis hybrid for its tidy compact habit and unusual two-toned prolific blooms. Tall upright sturdy branched spires parade a multitude of carmine-colored buds and pink flowers nestled in dark purple calyxes. Light green aromatic leaves—ovate, wrinkled and sporting crenate margins—weave a comely basal clump that wards off deer, tantalizes the hummingbirds, requires good air circulation and appreciates a trim after blooming to promote new growth. (uspp#14,905)

Blooms May–July.

Size: 20"–2' high x 15"–18" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Salvia ‘Eveline’ (P-1772)
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Salvia forsskaolii  full sun  partial shade
Salvia forsskaolii

The large, almost triangular leaves of this Bulgarian native make a striking base for the long spires of white-streaked, violet-blue blooms. Robust flower stems arch gracefully above the basal foliage, which lies close to the ground. Accent the beautiful foliage and position midborder in well drained soils with fine textured perennials and grasses like Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’.

Blooms June–September.

Size: 2' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 6.

Salvia forsskaolii (p-0215)
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Salvia greggii ‘Lowry’s Peach’  full sun
Salvia greggii Lowry’s Peach

And what a peach it is! Hailing from the Mexican hills above Ciudad Victoria, this shrubby, evergreen Salvia displays saturated coral flowers with buttery throats, nearly nonstop from the last frost to the first. Held by wine-tinged stems, the appealing small, glossy green foliage and cocoa-tinted calyxes offer a contrasting foil for the vividly colored blooms. Drought tolerant ‘Lowry’s Peach’ is prized by hummingbirds, and promises a lively show en masse in any sunny border. Regular pruning ensures continued bloom and a pleasing form.

Blooms May – October.

Size: 2-1/2' high x 2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 9.

Salvia greggii ‘Lowry’s Peach’ (p-1139)
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Salvia greggii ‘Wild Thing’  full sun
Salvia greggii Wild Thing

Plant aficionado Tom Peace helped establish this lavishly hued, west Texan’s notoriety. Quick to grow, full of vigor and more tolerant of cold, damp winters than most other greggii species, ‘Wild Thing’s leafy, good-looking form presents lustrous green foliage and droves of vivid cherry-pink flowers with contrasting wine-colored calyxes. Plant next to Agastache ‘Apricot Sunrise’ and Verbascum ‘Sixteen Candles’ for a wild, long blooming vignette.

Blooms June–September.

Size: 3' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 6.

Salvia greggii ‘Wild Thing’ (P-1224)
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Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’  full sun  partial shade
Black and Blue Guarani Sage
Salvia guaranitica Black and Blue

An absolute favorite of our hummingbirds, this eye catching Salvia offers abundant, deep cobalt blue, tubular blooms and nearly black calyxes on 15 in. terminal flowering spikes all summer long. More compact than many of the guaranitica species, ‘Black and Blue’ provides complementary color for the shining blooms of Crocosmia ‘Star of the East’.

Blooms mid-July–October.

Size: 3-1/2' high x 3' wide. Zone 7/8.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ (P-0772)
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Salvia guaranitica ‘Blue Ensign’  full sun  partial shade
Salvia guaranitica Blue Ensign

Pennantlike spikes of large, Cambridge blue, tubular flowers and bright green calyxes proudly rise above the spade-shaped leaves, which cloak ‘Blue Ensign’s upright, but freely branching stance. A drift mid-border makes a compelling statement with the yellow-orange coloring of Euphorbia ‘Fern Cottage’s fall foliage nearby.

Blooms mid-July–October.

Size: 3-1/2'–4' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 7.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Blue Ensign’ (p-1138)
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Salvia holwayi  full sun  partial shade
Salvia holwayi

Hailing from the cool highlands of Guatemala and Chiapas, Mexico, this vigorous Salvia volunteers hundreds of brilliant cardinal red, whorled blossoms in late fall. A yellow-green cast infuses young growth while mature leaves are darker green. Marked by light green grooves, the numerous, wine-infused lax stems become obscured by prominently veined triangular leaves, which taper to pronounced narrow tips.

Paying homage to Edward Holway, an American mycologist and plant collector who traveled to Mexico in the early 1900s, Salvia holwayi blooms all winter long in warmer areas, gracing its lush and bushy good-sized mass with much appreciated color and hummingbird food.

Grateful for a well drained, humus rich spot and a hard cut after blooming, it creates a verdant backdrop for the mixed border, an excellent conservatory plant in colder climates and a splendid long lasting cut flower when they’re aren’t many others around.

Blooms October–December.

Size: 4' high x 4'–6' wide; hardy to zone 9.

Salvia holwayi (p-1345)
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Salvia involucrata ‘Hidalgo’  full sun
Roseleaf Sage

Large and rounded, dusky magenta buds cluster at stem tips and open into brilliant pink, fuzzy tubular flowers toned down by deep purple calyxes. Handsome, dark green nearly heart-shaped leaves are arranged in pairs and complement red petioles on strong straight stalks.

Revered by hummingbirds, this bushy Salvia makes a perfect addition to the meadow garden, and along with Salvia ‘Nekan’ and Aster ‘Ochtendgloren’ augments a late season blend of blue and pink.

Blooms August–mid-October.

Size: 4' high x 3' wide. Zone 8/9.

Salvia involucrata ‘Hidalgo’ (p-0296)
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Salvia involucrata ‘Mulberry Jam’  full sun
Mulberry Jam Roseleaf Sage

A selection from Betsy Clebsch’s garden, ‘Mulberry Jam’ is smaller and more upright than the species. Large, rounded, dusky magenta buds open into vivid, fuzzy pink, tubular flowers nicely toned down by deep purple calyxes. Revered by hummingbirds, this bushlike Salvia makes a perfect addition to the meadow garden with Salvia ‘Nekan’ and Aster ‘Ochtendgloren’ for a blend of late season pinks.

Blooms June–mid-October.

Size: 4' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 8.

Salvia involucrata ‘Mulberry Jam’ (p-0713)
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Salvia x jamensis ‘Pat Vlasto’  full sun
Pat Vlasto Autumn Sage

One of the toughest cultivars of the species, this radiant long blooming Sage can handle a variety of growing conditions. Against a fine textured background of small, glossy green leaves, the watermelon-colored flowers are offset by red-hued stems and sable-colored calyxes. For echoes of warm color, pair ‘Pat Vlasto’ with Phygelius ‘African Queen’.

Blooms June–mid-October.

Size: 3' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 8.

Salvia x jamensis ‘Pat Vlasto’ (P-1107)
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Salvia leucantha x elegans ‘Anthony Parker’  full sun
Anthony Parker Bush Sage
Salvia leucantha x elegans Anthony Parker

Frances Parker of South Carolina discovered this unlikely cross and named it for her grandson. Blessed with attributes from both parents, ‘Anthony Parker’ features extraordinary, nearly 2 ft. long spires of midnight purple-black, leucantha-like flowers topping attractive leaves and young downy white stems. The broad-based, grayish green foliage tapers to a point, and displays a venation similar to Salvia elegans.

Gracing an herbaceous border or even an arrangement, this robust Salvia’s dark flowers will set Sedum ‘Autumn Fire’ aglow.

Blooms August–October.

Size: 3'–4' high x 4' wide; hardy to zone 9.

AVAILABLE MID-SPRING 2014

Salvia leucantha x elegans ‘Anthony Parker’ (p-1140)
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Salvia melissodora (Yucca Do Form)  full sun
Grape-scented Sage

The name of this charming Sage, long used by the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico for medicinal purposes, comes from the Greek words meaning fragrant and honeybee. Bees, moths, butterflies and hummingbirds alike are attracted to the sumptuous, nectar-laden panicles of pleasantly scented, periwinkle flowers and fuzzy, sable-colored calyxes.

Elegant leaves with downy silver undersides embellish its graceful upright presence.

Blooms May–October.

Size: 5'–6' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 9.

Salvia melissodora (Yucca Do Form) (P-0774)
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Salvia mexicana ‘Compton’s Form’  full sun
Salvia mexicana Compton’s Form

Lavish dark buds are a prelude to the striking compact whorls of fuzzy purple flowers and black calyxes displayed on 18 in. spikes. ‘Compton’s Form’ has distinctive, deep green polished foliage, a bit finer textured than that of ‘Limelight’, and an erect, bushy habit.

Blooms August – early November.

Size: 5' high x 4' wide; hardy to zone 8.

Salvia mexicana ‘Compton’s Form’ (P-0711)
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Salvia mexicana ‘Limelight’  full sun
Salvia mexicana Limelight Salvia mexicana Limelight

Whorls of densely packed, chartreuse terminal buds on strong upright stems provide exciting contrast to the lush green color of ‘Limelight’s foliage. In flower, this cultivar is sure to take center stage as deep bluish purple blooms peek out from the vibrant yellow-green calyxes. Cut back each season to encourage new growth at the base and to maintain a pleasing shape.

Blooms August–early November.

Size: 6' high x 6' wide; hardy to zone 8.


Salvia mexicana ‘Limelight’ (p-0608)
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Salvia microphylla  full sun  new plant
Salvia microphylla

Naming this natty Salvia "small leaves" is like identifying a Ferrari by its tires. The long blooming scarlet-red flowers and thick wine-red stems, which are inscribed with a notable silver-white stripe running down each side, provide dynamic counterpoints to pleasantly scented, lustrous green serrated leaves. Indigenous to southeastern Arizona and Mexico's mountainous regions, where it is known as "myrtle of the mountain", our cutting propagated strain forges a dense, shrubby evergreen patch. The proud parent of many popular cultivars, its steadfast good looks promise a lot of mileage.

Blooms July–October.

Size: 3' high x 3' wide. Zone 8/9.

AVAILABLE APRIL 2014

Salvia microphylla (p-0129)
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Salvia microphylla ‘Dennis’ Pink’  full sun
Salvia microphylla Dennis’ Pink

Touted as one of the best pink-colored microphyllas, these good-sized flowers are not shy in the least. With a full-bodied fuchsia pink hue, the freely borne blooms feature dark charcoal-tinged calyxes, hooded upper petals and prominent lower lips illuminated by singular white splotches. Peaking in spring, continuing through summer and ending with an autumn grand finale, the exuberant long lasting display energizes a bushy aromatic mass of wiry stems and green blunt-tipped, finely toothed leaves. This Salvia remains relatively root-hardy through chilly winters.

Blooms May – October.

Size: 3'–4' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 8.

Salvia microphylla ‘Dennis’ Pink’ (P-1537)
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Salvia microphylla x greggii ‘Red Velvet’  full sun  partial shade
Salvia microphylla x greggii Red Velvet

Big, brilliant and red, these lavishly colored flowers are double the size of any other microphylla or greggii. Blooming spikes and calyxes the color of dark chocolate dramatically present the plush-as-velvet showing, while a handsome, full bush of glossy, somewhat rounded rich green foliage supports it.

Introduced by Texas’s Yucca-Do Nursery and Scott Ogden, ‘Red Velvet’ thrives in warm, dry climates, can endure humidity and assures a vivacious presence, especially when partnered with Penstemon Chiapas sp.

Blooms June–October.

Size: 4' high x 4' wide; hardy to zone 7.

Salvia microphylla x greggii ‘Red Velvet’ (p-1359)
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Salvia microphylla ‘Hoja Grande’  full sun  partial shade

Painted in pretty lipstick shades of cherry-red and magenta, slender whorled flower spikes festoon this shrubby evergreen Salvia. Warm, rosy brown calyxes and attractive ripple-edged green leaves heighten the showy long lasting blooms.

Introduced by Yucca-Do Nursery, the amenable ‘Hoja Grande’ hails from Mexico’s Nuevo Leon, and in our garden jazzes up neighboring Phlomis russeliana, while easily tolerating dry conditions whether the weather’s hot or cool.

Blooms May–June & September–October.

Size: 3'–4' high x 3'–4' wide; hardy to zone 7.

Salvia microphylla ‘Hoja Grande’ (P-1421)
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Salvia microphylla ‘San Carlos Festival’  full sun
Salvia microphylla San Carlos Festival

This captivating Salvia celebrates a festival of color! Splashed with highly saturated magentas and rich ruby throats, the dazzling flowers unfurl from sable-colored calyxes by the hundreds, beginning in spring and extending until fall.

Discovered in Tamaulipas, Mexico, ‘San Carlos Festival’ is well-loved for its extraordinary floral abundance and its attractive compact form, each medium green leaf emphasizing a textured surface, serrated undulating margins and a somewhat triangular shape that broadcasts bronzy tones come winter.

Blooms May–November.

Size: 2' high x 2-1/2'–3' wide; hardy to zone 7.

Salvia microphylla ‘San Carlos Festival’ (p-1361)
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Salvia microphylla ‘Wild Watermelon’  full sun  partial shade
Salvia microphylla Wild Watermelon

“Exuberant” best describes the way extra large, deep watermelon-pink flowers dress up this robust, relatively cold resistant Salvia.

Collected by Don Mahoney at 7000 ft. on Mexico’s Mt. Cerro Potosi, ‘Wild Watermelon’ not only boasts boisterously colored blooms with white-marked throats but neat good-looking foliage and a hardy crown that spreads by layering itself. Most abundant in spring and fall and only sporadically over the summer, its high-spirited floral hues invite a glance either spotlighted in a favorite pot, or backed by white blooming Cistus in the mixed border.

Blooms May–June & again in September–October.

Size: 3'–4' high x 4' wide. Zone 7/8.

Salvia microphylla ‘Wild Watermelon’ (p-1360)
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Salvia nemorosa ‘Amethyst’  full sun
Salvia nemorosa Amethyst

With the violet-blue tones of the blossoms, and the similar but rosier shades of the enduring calyxes and prominent streaks that mark the leafy upright flower stems, this richly colored Salvia is a jewel. With wavy-edged foliage, this long bloomer exhibits a handsome fullness. Softening the edge of our pathway in the company of Origanum ‘Ed Carmine’, a violet theme is created, while the addition of Kniphofia ‘Border Ballet’ adds a lively splash of melon to the picture.

Blooms early June–September.

Size: 2-1/2' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 5.

Salvia nemorosa ‘Amethyst’ (p-0813)
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Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’  full sun
Salvia nemorosa Caradonna

Unique, blackish magenta tones darken the lustrous flower stems of this superb new cultivar. Set against these upright and lengthy, dark stalks, the violet blossoms appear dazzling, and will bloom well into fall with attentive dead-heading.

A chance seedling found in a German nursery, ‘Caradonna’s tidy base of textured green foliage and plum-hued blooms impart harmonious accents to Sedum ‘Matrona’s smoky colors.

Blooms June–early October.

Size: 2'–2-1/2' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 4.

Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ (p-1133)
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Salvia nemorosa ‘Negrito’  full sun

Studded with radiant bluish violet flowers, crowded spires rise above a low growing shapely bed of textured green crimple-edged leaves. Persistent darker purple calyxes festoon the long lasting floral splendor, extending interest well after the tubular petals are spent. A compelling European cultivar that is hard to find in this country, ‘Negrito’ makes an ideal trouble free companion for the rosy hues of Origanum ‘Lizzie’s Hybrid #2’ and Sedum ‘Red Cauli’.

Blooms June–early October.

Size: 2'–2-1/2' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 4.

AVAILABLE MID-SPRING 2014

Salvia nemorosa ‘Negrito’ (P-1771)
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Salvia nemorosa ‘Rosenwein’  full sun
Salvia nemorosa Rosenwein

German for ‘Rose Wine’, let this Salvia bathe your garden with bright rose-hued flowers. Adorning a low mound of tidy green foliage, the upright leafy spikes are offset by prominent, dark earthy pink calyxes and buds of the same shade. Position in the front of the border with Geranium ‘Mavis Simpson’ and Kniphofia ‘Safranvogel’ for an intoxicating display.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 2' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 5.

Salvia nemorosa ‘Rosenwein’ (p-0966)
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Salvia nemorosa ‘Sensation Rose’  full sun

We have Dutch nurseryman, Nico Rijnbeek to thank for this exciting new small-statured Salvia. A handsome bed of scalloped-edged, quilted green leaves hosts lovely clear pink flowers with darker calyxes on short branching spires. Its profuse long lasting display, maintained by regular deadheading, and diminutive size make it just right in a container, along a path or anywhere space is limited. (pp#18230)

Blooms May – August.

Size: 15" high x 15" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Salvia nemorosa ‘Sensation Rose’ (P-1553)
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Salvia nubicola  full sun
Himalayan Yellow Sage
Salvia nubicola

“Nubicola” means “dweller among the clouds,” and the name proclaims its hardiness. The robust, erect stems of this bushy Himalayan native support a wealth of yellow-flowered spires, each bloom warmed by tiny maroon spots and held by bright green calyxes, along with a plenitude of large, arrow-shaped leaves. For an engaging late summer vignette, highlight its vigor by planting with Aster ‘Lady in Black’, Nepeta parnassica and Aconitum ‘Arendsii’.

Blooms mid-August – October.

Size: 4'–5' high x 3-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 5.

Salvia nubicola (p-0865)
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Salvia ‘Phyllis’ Fancy’  full sun  partial shade
Salvia  Phyllis’ Fancy

A stylish offspring of Salvia leucantha and possibly Salvia chiapensis, this chance seedling, named for Phyllis Norris, originated at the U.C. Santa Cruz Arboretum. It resembles Salvia ‘Waverly’, though its larger well-groomed frame is more hardy, its green leaves less coriaceous and its bicolored blooms sport a decidedly bluer cast. Attention-grabbing foot long spires are embellished with fuzzy light lavender flowers, each nestled in a bicolored calyx, which are dark inky blue on top and green below.

‘Phyllis’ Fancy’ favors moderate water, good drainage and survives temperatures to 8°, but will die back to its roots.

Blooms July – August

Size: 18"–2' high x 2' wide. Zone 7/8.

Salvia ‘Phyllis’ Fancy’ (P-1714)
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Salvia ‘Pozo Blue’  full sun  drought tolerant

Hailed as one of the most drought tolerant plants in the trade, this tough-as-nails evergreen Salvia can handle a California summer without water, sandy or clay soil in either coastal, mountainous or desert gardens, and sports good looks to boot. Masses of sparkling blue-violet flowers populate spaced ball-shaped clusters atop a rounded, somewhat woody frame with aromatic ashy green leaves.

A chance seedling of Salvia clevelandii and Salvia leucophylla selected by Las Palitas Nursery owner Bert Wilson, ‘Pozo Blue’ makes a handsome addition to fresh or dried arrangements, as well as rocky banks and dry borders, while attracting butterflies, California Quail, hummingbirds, and plant enthusiasts. It can handle a California summer without water and sandy or clay soil in either coastal, mountainous or desert gardens.

Blooms June – October.

Size: 5' high x 5' wide. Zone 7/8.

Salvia ‘Pozo Blue’ (P-1585)
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Salvia pratensis ‘Swan Lake’  full sun

After years of breeding, Jelitto Seeds has just recently introduced this pure white Salvia. Rich green foliage with a wrinkled texture and ruffled margins forms a lush, leafy mound beneath the upstanding snowy spikes. Each delicate, luminous flower nestles in a calyx on a tiny pedestal of small green bracts.

Showy ‘Swan Lake’s species name translates as “growing in meadows,” referring to its sunny native European haunts. A natural for relaxed garden settings amid grasses, it easily accepts varied conditions, especially cold temperatures.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 20" high x 12" wide. Zone 3/4.

Salvia pratensis ‘Swan Lake’ (p-1283)
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Salvia pratensis ‘Sweet Esmeralda’  full sun
Salvia pratensis Sweet Esmeralda

Arising from Jelitto’s Meadow Ballet Series, this steadfast 2008 introduction features erect, tall spires dressed in pretty dark pink hooded flowers with rosy carmine tints on extended lower lips. Long-petioled, green crinkled leaves forge a handsome thick leafy mound, anchoring the vividly colored summer-long display that entices bees and doesn’t ask for much—only sunshine, deadheading and average garden soil.

Blooms June – August.

Size: 20" high x 12" wide. Zone 3/4.

Salvia pratensis ‘Sweet Esmeralda’ (P-1586)
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Salvia pratensis ‘Twilight Serenade’  full sun

Back in 2005, Jelitto first introduced the Meadow Ballet Blend, an easy-to-grow hardy group of Meadow Clary Sages renowned for their richly hued, perfect-for-cutting floral spikes that unfurl within a year of being planted. ‘Twilight Serenade’ is the most recent individual color selection, boasting distinctively hooded, lavish blue-violet blossoms on upright 20 in. green stems above an attractive green rosette of ruffly toothed leaves.

Though the species is a sun-loving, European meadow denizen, this long blooming cultivar will look fantastic right up front in your garden accompanied by Bouteloua curtipendula and Elymus ‘Canyon Prince’.

Blooms June – August.

Size: 20" high x 12" wide. Zone 3/4.

Salvia pratensis ‘Twilight Serenade’ (P-1620)
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Salvia przewalskii  full sun  partial shade

Handsome troops of sturdy sable-colored branching stems curve up and out, delivering plump reddish violet blooms with white stamens and fuzzy mahogany calyxes in ornate widely spaced whorls. Described by long petioles and delineated veins on the flip sides, extremely large, bright green leaves compile a lush looking basal mound.

Populating Chinese rocky slopes, stream banks and forest margins, this Salvia is legendary for its medicinal attributes, prefers well-drained soil and is striking alongside Euphorbia longifolia’s chartreuse blooms.

Blooms July – August

Size: 18"–2' high x 2' wide. Zone 7/8.

Salvia przewalskii (P-0661)
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Salvia ‘Purple Majesty’  full sun  partial shade

A mainstay at the back of the border, this regal Salvia is a cross between Salvia guaranitica and Salvia gesneraeflora. Rising above the textured mint-green leaves, spikes of vibrant violet-blue blooms add glorious color all summer until frost, and are adored by hummingbirds everywhere. With its upright stance and cool shades, ‘Purple Majesty’ complements the warmer hues of Helianthus angustifolius (Pale Form) for a splendid autumn union.

Blooms June–early November.

Size: 5'–6' high x 3' wide. Zone 7/8.

Salvia ‘Purple Majesty’ (P-0967)
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Salvia reptans  full sun

Originally from the high mountains in Mexico, this plant comes to us from Jim Lockman of Oakland, California. It has a soft character with delicate blue flowers and fine textured, light green, spidery leaves, which grow on basal stems. You can cut it back for a second bloom before it disappears in winter. Salvia reptans is perfect in drifts, as an accent in the rockery, or contrasted with Rudbeckia ‘Swiss Gold’.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 15" high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 7.

Salvia reptans (p-0131)
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Salvia reptans West Texas Form  full sun
Cobalt Sage
Salvia reptans West Texas Form

The richest shade of cobalt blue saturates these late blooming flowers as they ride a sea of tall stems clad in needlelike green leaves. Discovered in the Davis Mountains at 4000 ft. by Pat McNeal’s keen eye and closely related to Salvia pitcheri, this no-fuss Texas beauty is uniquely upright, while the species is lax. West Texas Form endures drought, poor rocky soil and humidity. An association with Gaura ‘Summer Breeze’ makes for a carefree look.

Blooms mid-August – September.

Size: 3' high x 3' wide. Zone 6/7.

AVAILABLE MAY 2014

Salvia reptans West Texas Form (P-1587)
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Salvia sclarea ‘Vatican White’  full sun
Clary Sage
Salvia sclarea Vatican White

This nobly architectural Sage has been grown in almost every botanical sanctuary throughout human history. The catalog of its uses is extensive: a flavoring for wines and liqueurs; an oil for perfumes, potpourri and incense (thus becoming known as ‘Vatican White’); while medicinally, it is reputed to ease stomach ailments and stop the aging process!

This choice white cultivar, however, is not that easy to find, and we cultivate it for its stately presence in the border. Large, gray-green leaves—lance-shaped and leathery—remain attractive throughout the season. Each stalwart stem is topped with widely branching panicles of pure white blossoms and big, brilliant, whorled white bracts, which convey a floral effect from May to September.

Combined with the cool hues of Nepeta ‘Pool Bank’ and Euphorbia ‘Red Wing’s warmth, ‘Vatican White’ adds a bright element to an arresting composition. Requiring little water or attention, this vigorous species asks only for a superbly drained site.

Blooms June–July.

Size: 2-1/2' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 4.

Salvia sclarea ‘Vatican White’ (p-1136)
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Salvia semiatrata  full sun
Salvia semiatrata

Intricate bicolored flowers, a lovely blend of lilac-colored upper petals and midnight purple lower lips, are held by muted pink calyxes against a foil of handsome, dark green, textured foliage. Perfect for the rocky border or atop a wall where its detail can be enjoyed at eye level, this small-leafed hardy Mexican native combines well with Phygelius and Geranium ‘Buxton’s Variety’ and its long lasting blooms make an excellent addition to any flower arrangement.

Blooms June–October.

Size: 3' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 8.

Salvia semiatrata (P-0712)
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Salvia ‘Silke’s Dream’  full sun
Salvia  Silke’s Dream

Discovered by Art Petty of Austin, Texas, this dream Salvia cross inherits the best qualities of both its parents. Like darcyi, it features fantastically colored blooms, and like microphylla, its good-looking stance is short and compact.

Summer brings plentiful, 15 in. spikes of warm-hued, dark orange-red flowers and by fall, the round-tipped, somewhat reflective green foliage is completely blanketed by them. Renown for an easy going, stalwart and floriferous nature, ‘Silke’s Dream’ tantalizes us with its passionate display, while counterposing Salvia corrugata’s deep blue spires.

Blooms July–October.

Size: 2' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 7.

Salvia ‘Silke’s Dream’ (p-1358)
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Salvia sinaloensis  full sun
Sinaloa Blue Sage
Salvia sinaloensis

Indigenous to the Mexican province Sinaloa, this compact bushy Salvia displays tantalizing color. Low growing stems initially trail on the ground, concealed by dark green, textured leaves infused with plum-purple hues, and bronze-tinted new growth. Well above the narrow foliage, deep blue, airy, upright spikes feature spaced whorls of sable calyxes and vivid flowers marked with two subtle white lines on each lower lip.

A charmer for the border’s edge, a stone wall or the rock garden, Salvia sinaloensis spreads by underground rhizomes, disappears in the winter, and appreciates well drained soil.

Blooms June–October.

Size: 6"–10" high x 15"–18" wide; hardy to zone 8.

Salvia sinaloensis (p-1134)
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Salvia uliginosa  full sun  partial shade  new plant
Bog Sage

Uliginosa means "of the marshes", in this case those between the forests of southern Brazil and Argentina's fertile pampas. Eye-catching white flecked azure blue flowers soar atop slender branching stems lined with narrow lance-shaped green leaves. A quick-to-establish colonizing perennial, Bog Sage presents an airy, strong and erect habit that doesn't need staking and flourishes in moist niches along streams or ponds and in ordinary garden conditions, even tolerating heavy or dry soil. For a spectacular effect, plant it alongside Anemone 'Andrea Atkinson'.

Blooms August–October.

Size: 4'–5' high x 15" & spreading; hardy to zone 6.

AVAILABLE MID-SPRING 2014

Salvia uliginosa (P-0997)
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Salvia ‘Ultra Violet’  full sun

Selected by Lauren Springer and Scott Ogden in Ft. Collins, Colorado, this fantastic new hybrid originated from a hummingbird initiated cross between Salvia lycioides and Salvia greggii. Legions of iridescent deep violet-pink 2-lipped blooms dazzle upright flower spikes and fine cut glistening deep green foliage that shapes a compact rounded habit. Cold hardy ‘Ultra Violet’ lures butterflies, appreciates well-drained soil, withstands drought, rabbits and deer, and looks ultra-fine in just about any landscape. (uspp#21,411)

Blooms June–September.

Size: 18"–20" high x 2'–2-1/4' wide. Zone 5b.

Salvia ‘Ultra Violet’ (P-1773)
Each $7.25
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Salvia urica  full sun
Blue Bush Sage
Salvia urica

Hailing from the warm, moist mountainous haunts of Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, this tender, yet irresistible Salvia produces inch long, whorled deep blue-violet flowers on short stalks above a verdurous semi-upright mass. Lax stems carry velvety soft, dark green textured leaves that are deltoid in shape and saw-toothed along the margins. Tended by green calyxes, the long blooming flowers feature unusual incurved lower lips with light undersides and provide a cool-colored late season fanfare, complementing roses and pink or white blooming Asters.

A topnotch container specimen, Blue Bush Sage needs to be protected when temperatures drop to 30°.

Blooms August – November.

Size: 2'–3' high x 2'–3' wide. Zone 9/10.

Salvia urica (P-1480)
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Salvia vanhoutii (Burgundy Form)  full sun  partial shade
Van Houtt’s Brazilian Sage
Salvia vanhoutii (Burgundy Form)

This showy Salvia makes a dazzling container plant. The large, layered, burgundy buds have pointed sepals and open into numerous dark carmine-colored flowers with wine-red calyxes. Intriguing raised red ridges run horizontally around the stems at regular intervals like rungs on a ladder, connecting the reddish leaf petioles of each pair of opposite leaves.

Be sure to provide winter protection, as Salvia vanhoutii is hardy only in warmer climates.

Blooms July–October.

Size: 4' high x 4' wide; hardy to zone 9.

Salvia vanhoutii (Burgundy Form) (p-0775)
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Salvia verticillata ‘Purple Rain’  full sun
Salvia verticillata Purple Rain Salvia verticillata Purple Rain

When Virgil wrote “Steep thyself in a bowl of summertime,” he may well have been inspired by this Salvia. Petals of deep purple gather like raindrops in tiered pools to form these whorled flowers. Broad, opposite, almost thistlelike triangular leaves provide a solid base for the tall, branching stems.

Blooms June–September.

Size: 2' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 6.


Salvia verticillata ‘Purple Rain’ (p-0132)
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Salvia ‘Waverly’  full sun
Salvia  Waverly

Like a well planned composition, this Salvia blends white fuzzy flowers, blushed with the palest of pinks and predominate purple calyxes against a graceful foil of textured grayish green foliage.

Given to us by David Salmon of High Country Gardens, we planted it in front of Cotinus ‘Grace’, whose leaves repeat the deep color of ‘Santa Barbara’s calyxes.

Blooms late June–early November.

Size: 3' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 8.

Salvia ‘Waverly’ (p-0660)
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