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Salvia (Sage)
at Digging Dog

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 OCTOBER 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.

AVAILABLE NOVEMBER 2014

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.

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)
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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.

AVAILABLE OCTOBER 2014

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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Latest News

Straight from the Border
Bring sparkling beauty to your late summer and early fall garden.

By the time August rolls around and the waning days of summer segue into fall, gardens can appear tired and somewhat lackluster. We may find ourselves simply losing interest in our verdant abodes.

Over the years, we’ve discovered a few simple techniques that allow any plantscape to resonate with late-season appeal. For starters, the addition of well-rotted compost and or mulch not only reduces watering requirements throughout the warmer months, but generally makes it easier for plants to stay perky and fresh looking during the dog days of summer. Sometime in early May, you may wish to cut back tall, late blooming perennials that have a tendency to flop or become messy by the time they finally flower. By doing so, they’ll maintain a tidier habit, and when coupled with frequent deadheading many blossoms will keep on coming ‘til the season’s end.

You could include a few specimen shrubs or trees. They serve as strong bones or placeholders, lending an overall pleasing appearance to the landscape, even though some of the perennials or grasses may be spent. White, clear pink or chartreuse-hued flowers tend to forge soothing counterpoints as they effortlessly meld autumn’s cozy parade of warm oranges, reds and yellows. Major stars of the late show, ornamental grasses become poetry in motion during gusty days, while their shimmering inflorescences are set aglow by afternoon sunlight. When designing your outdoor space, it’s important to choose plant’s not only for their flowers, but to consider their seed heads (often important food sources for birds), foliar intrigue, berries, bark and dynamic architecture as well.

We’ve included a sampling of our very favorite plants that promise to inspire your green thumb, heighten your senses and entice you back into the garden for a stellar last hurrah! There’s still enough time to select a couple of new botanical wonders and get a jump start on next spring before winter finally arrives.

Perennials:

  • asarum splendens

    Actaea simplex ‘Atropurpurea’ & Helianthus ‘Sheila’s Sunshine’

    Actaea simplex ‘Atropurpurea’
    Grown from seedlings carefully selected for dark, coppery purple foliage, the regal profile of ‘Atropurpurea’ shows its good breeding. A garden dweller with a staid bearing, its stately reddish purple stems soar above your head, displaying dense spires covered with round mahogany-hued buds and sweet starbursts of white. Echo this Actaea’s somber tones by bringing it together with Angelica gigas, and let the lime green foliage of Physocarpus ‘Dart’s Gold’ brighten the mood. Hardy to zone 4. (P-0049)
  • Asarum splendens
    asarum splendens

    Asarum splendens



    Chinese Wild Ginger
    “Splendid” seems like too modest a word to proclaim the elegance of this ginger’s foliage! glistening, broadly arrow-shaped, deep green leaves flaunt dramatic silver marbling and come spring, 2 in. wide dark purple blossoms with white throats. Situated among Podophyllum hexandrum, easy-to-grow Asarum splendens sculpts a show stealing, illustriously patterned ground cover in just a few years that appreciates warm, humid summers while resenting cool ones. Hardy to zone 6. (p-1247)
  • Aster cordifolius ‘Avondale’
    Blue wood Aster
    Selected from a versatile Aster indigenous to our southeastern mountains, ‘Avondale’ greets fall with a jovial long lasting barrage of small, yellow-eyed pale lavender-blue daisies atop tidy slender green foliage. Acquiescent to varied light, it exhibits an upright open habit in sunny spots and becomes more relaxed and arching in darker recesses. Ignored by deer, but coveted by butterflies, floral arrangers, and gardeners, this floriferous wonder endures dry shade once established, favors well-drained soil and can be planted en masse along woodland fringes, meandering amid Geranium ‘White Ness’. Zone 3/4. (P-1746)
  • Aster lateriflorus ‘White Lovely’
    Calico Aster
    A preeminent star of the fall show, ‘White Lovely’ entertains petite, thin-petaled white daisies tinged lilac when mature and brightened by sunny-side-up yellow eyes. The copious, late summer flowers are borne along horizontally branched leafy sprays of arching and wide-angled, purple-streaked stems with small, slender dark green foliage that never tuckers out. We like to plant Monarda ‘Violet Queen’ and Melianthus ‘Antonow’s Blue’ behind while headlining this elegant Aster right up front. Hardy to zone 4. (P-1366)

    aster jindai and melianthus major

    Aster ‘Jindai’ & Melainthus major

  • Aster tataricus ‘Jindai’
    Dwarf Tatarian Aster
    The name may sound like one of the bad guys from Star Wars, but this unique Aster is definitely on our side with its upright bearing and lush textural appeal. Not as towering as its moisture-loving Asian counterpart, ‘Jindai’ spawns huge serrated rough-to-the-touch leafage on stout shorter stalks and abundant branched sprays of late blooming violet flowers engraved by large saffron eyes. A stand-alone for the mixed border, its assertive look can be juxtaposed against finer textured plants like Spiraea ‘Ogon’ and Phlox ‘David’. Hardy to zone 3. (P-0632)
  • Eupatorium maculatum ‘Riesenschirm’ Regarded as one of the top ten plants of the Dutch wave, favored by bees and butterflies and an AGM winner, this superb back-of-the-border beauty propels polished, tall dark purple stems—stiff, straight and staunch—skyward bound. Loosely arranged whorls of heavily textured deep green tapered leaves anchor fluffy 8 in. wide domed flower heads awash with reddish purple hues. Its lofty architecture maintains a dignified profile, even in winter, enhanced by warm browns and seed heads, which nourish finches and tits. Hardy to zone 4. (P-1754)
  • Filipendula rubra ‘Venusta’
    A statuesque beauty, ‘Venusta’ is distinguished by huge, fluffy cloudlike plumes painted with soft salmon pinks floating above a good-sized, leafy mass of upright stems and jagged, Maple-shaped foliage. Forging an impressive stand in a moist well drained setting, Meadow Sweet seldom needs staking, and makes an airy partner for Trollius ‘ Superbus’. Hardy to zone 4. (P-1024)
  • Helenium ‘Zimbelstern’
    Cymbal Star
    One of the largest flowered Heleniums, ‘Zimbelstern’s undulating, brilliantly golden, mahogany-splashed petals converge at a russet eye. Before its enthusiastic bloom, strong stems sport unusual chartreuse buds that have a joy all their own. Hardy to zone 4. (p-0854)
  • Helenium ‘Red Jewel’
    Saturated with dusky red hues, uniquely shaded petals perform a lavish dance around prominent maroon and saffron hubs. Droves of closely set flowers, some marked by yellow tips, are esteemed for their long blooming period and the consistent color they maintain throughout the season, unlike many other Heleniums. Destined to be a vivacious garden mainstay, this Bob Brown introduction grows as a bushy verdant clump, looks spectacular en masse and can escort perennials like Monarda ‘Jacob Cline’ and Salvia confertiflora for a galvanizing floral affair. Hardy to zone 4. (P-1701)
  • Helianthus giganteus ‘Sheila’s Sunshine’
    Giant Pale Yellow Sunflower
    Late blooming pastel yellow flowers gaze down at onlookers from atop lofty, sturdy stems. Combine with Buddleja ‘Ellen’s Blue’, Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ and tall, late Asters in the rear of the border. Hardy to zone 6. (p-0461)
  • Kniphofia ‘Yellow Cheer’
    Bolstered by hefty, tall and straight asparagus-hued stalks, dense yellowish orange buds, infused with chartreuse, remind us of miniature Christmas trees. Radiant yellows, pumpkin colors and lime tinges meld an unparalleled luminosity as the gorgeous torches stand sentinel, their plump rounded bases tapering to blunt tips well above a bright green, upright clump of strapping, deeply furrowed lax leaves. A robust specimen for the fall garden, ‘Yellow Cheer’s late season effervescence steals the show, especially when staged against a dark green foil. Hardy to zone 8. (p-1458)
  • leontis

    Leonotis menthifolia ‘Savannah Sunset’

    Leonotis menthifolia ‘Savannah Sunset’
    Lion’s Tail
    Conjuring images of romping safari lions, wondrous dense whorls of furry bright orange tubular flowers ascend straight lofty stalks in spaced intervals. New growth emerges from the blossom’s center, crafting an unusual tiered effect, while freely branching square hairy stems sprout neatly paired triangular green leaves that are narrow and toothed. Majestic as a container specimen or a mixed border focal point, this easy-to-grow South African mint family member favors a sunny well-drained spot with average moisture and a hard cut back after frosty winters. Hardy to zone 8. (P-1657)
  • Origanum ‘Bristol Cross’
    Assuming an air of refinement, the very slender blooms feature small, deep rose and chartreuse bracts that resemble decorative braids. Tipped with tiny purple flowers, the clustered bracts are held at nearly right angles to upright and reddish leafy stems. Grounded by medium green foliage, this long lasting, delicate floral display casts earthy yet saturated hues in the border or an arrangement. Shown in the middle with Hypericum androsaemum to the left. Hardy to zone 6. (p-1277)
    origanum, persicaria, hypericum

    Hypericum androsaseum to the left with Euphorbia ‘Excalibur’ behind & Persicaria ‘Summer Dance’ back right;
    low growing Origanum ‘Bristol Cross’ (middle, to the right of the Hypericum)

  • Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Summer Dance’
    With foliage that’s close to lime-green, and spiky floral tails that approach the scarlet spectrum of rosy pink, this slow spreading perennial is sure to please. We brought ‘Summer Dance’ home from Piet Oudolf’s Dutch nursery and have come to appreciate its brighter, less rambunctious nature. Swaying to a late summer breeze, our stand lives up to its name while cheerfully commingling amid Anemone ‘Andrea Atkinson’ in the border. Zone 5/6. (P-1312)
    rudbeckia

    Rudbeckia ’Praire Glow’, Helenium ‘Zimbelstern’ & Helenium ‘Red Jewel’ on the right

  • Rudbeckia triloba ‘Prairie Glow’
    Spangled with burgundy, bronze and reddish orange shades, irresistible legions of ebullient long blooming daisies parade dark chocolate centers and bicolor gold-tipped petals. At the base, large trilobed verdant leaves form a handsome bushy mass that gives way to upper, narrower leaves and openly branched, erect purple flowering stems. A denizen of the Great Plains, this summertime showstopper is not as long-lived as other Rudbeckias; it eventually wears out, but easily reseeds. Hardy to zone 3. (P-1713)
  • Sanguisorba officinalis ‘Red Thunder’
    Derived from a Korean collection of Sanguisorba officinalis, this high-fashion Sanguisorba was selected by Dutch plantsman Piet Oudolf for its deep ruby-red bobbles, perched on tall stiffer stems. Whether in the border or a meadow planting, a bouquet or frost-covered in the garden’s winter light, their distinctive silhouette inspires as much drama as a gathering thunderhead. A bluish green bed of pinnate foliage with toothed leaflets launches the strong floral display that can be superimposed against lofty silvery plumed Miscanthus, whorled Veronicastrum blooms and Helianthus ‘Capenoch Star’. Hardy to zone 4. (P-1542)
  • Sedum telephium ‘Red Cauli’
    A vibrant carousel of color and a neat compact visage earned this popular Sedum the RHS Garden Merit award in 2006 and a place in our border. Flashy cardinal-hued arching stems and notched blue-green succulent leaves with purple tinges elevate pale rosy buds and bright pink clustered flowers, which age to a dark ruby red. Let ‘Red Cauli’ festoon a patio container or a pathway’s edge, accompanying other late blooming companions such as Salvia reptans West Texas Form and Calamagrostis foliosa. Zone 3/4. (P-1716)
    sedum and salvia

    Salvia ‘Limelight’ & Sedum ‘Red Cauli’

  • 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. Hardy to zone 8. (p-0608)
  • Tricyrtis lasiocarpa
    Amethyst Toad Lily
    A favored standout among Tricyrtis, this exceptional species sprouts an attractive tightset clump of sturdy erect arching stems garbed with glistening green and purple freckled alternating leaves. Amethyst and blue petal tips embellish white upward facing orchid-style blooms that populate large well-branched terminal sprays. Hailing from Taiwan, where it has been observed growing in nearly full sun, Amethyst Toad Lily’s lovely long blooming flowers can model their ornate features in a brighter garden bed. Hardy to zone 7. (P-0271)

Grasses

  • Andropogon gerardii
    Big Bluestem
    Historically renowned as the sod our ancestors broke their backs busting, Big Bluestem is the most widespread of all the prairie grasses. Its regal and wild color show makes it a must in our garden. Growing to great size, the stand’s lush, blue-blushed summer greenery becomes a burgundy and copper glory at first frost. Soaring three-pronged red seed heads beg its other common name, Turkeyfoot. Reliable, heat tolerant and sturdy, Andropogon gerardii thrives in poorly drained clay to dry sandy soils, and easily transitions the outskirts of your garden into the wild meadow beyond. Hardy to zone 4. (g-0448)
  • Eragrostis chloromelas
    Blue Lovegrass
    Witness the ethereal haze of sheer amber-colored panicles floating on lax 3 ft. stalks over long fine cut powdery blue blades and you’ll see why we love this gorgeous South African denizen. The flowing warm season mound spreads slowly over time, while the gauzy inflorescences tantalize birds, butterflies and the rest of us through early winter. Appreciative of fast draining locations, Blue Lovegrass makes a sterling drought tolerant specimen or mass planting. Flank with Pennisetum spathiolatum and tall Molinias, and intersperse Sanguisorba ’Chocolate Tip’ or Aster ’Blue Danube’ for a spectacular painterly effect. Zone 6/7. (G-0540)
  • Molinia caerulea ssp. arundinacea ‘Bergfreund’
    Invite this “friend of the mountain” into your garden bed and it will quickly become your friend as well. Dynamic yet not too imposing, a gauzy array of gently pendulous, rich-colored reddish purple panicles mingle on dark green upright stems. Handsome foliage forms a low green stage that radiates yellow hues in autumn. Studded with ricelike beads transmuting warm chestnut hues when mature, the airy plumes should be headlined right up front where they become a mysterious veil that you can peer through. Hardy to zone 4. (G-0489)
  • Pennisetum spathiolatum
    Slender Veldt Grass
    A denizen of South Africa, this drought tolerant evergreen grass has low growing, narrow dark green blades that provide a verdant contrast to its tawny colored tapers. The dense, abundantly produced inflorescences hover on jointed nearly invisible stems, some 2 to 3 ft. tall, while fashioning a delightful see-through veil. Especially mesmerizing when grouped in a dry creek bed, a meadow or a water wise garden, the Slender Veldt Grass asks only for a well drained abode. Zone 6/7. (G-0511)

Shrubs

  • Cornus capitata
    Evergreen Dogwood
    An elegant, large evergreen shrub or small tree, this slow growing Dogwood is a perfect anchor for the shrubby border. Handsome, curved leathery leaves with light green veins provide a pleasing texture and turn bronze in the winter months. Buttonlike flower heads surrounded by creamy yellow bracts precede the long lasting, prominent, pinkish red strawberry-shaped fruit that appears in November and can be brought inside as a colorful complement to holiday greenery. Hardy to zone 8. (S-0364)
    cotinus and persicaria

    Persicaria ‘Summer Dance’ & Cotinus ‘Grace’

  • Cotinus ‘Grace’
    Smoke Bush
    An arresting beacon as the sun casts a ruby glow through its purple-black leaves, ‘Grace’ inherits her elegance from Cotinus coggygria ‘Velvet Cloak’ and Cotinus obovatus. The sprays of tiny deep pink flowers throw a smoky, wine-colored fog over its robust form, and a close glance reveals bright yellow at the center of each bloom. Lovely in contrast with the silver foliage of Teucrium fruticans (Select Form), ‘Grace’ conveys a stately presence matched by few other plants. Hardy to zone 5. (S-0394)
  • hydrangea ruby slippers

    Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’


    Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’
    Easily slipped into a diminutive spot, this compelling smaller-statured beauty sprung from a 1998 U.S. National Arboretum cross between ‘Snow Queen’ and ‘Pee Wee’. Exceptional 9 in. upright flowers, which open white but quickly transmute pale pink and eventually deeper rose hues, dress up a more petite, compact rounded carriage. Broad, lobed deciduous leaves are dark green in summer and mahogany tinted come autumn. A peerless companion for fine textured plants such as Spiraea ‘Ogon’ or Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis, ‘Ruby Slippers’s lovely low profile can be ushered to the foreground, planted en masse or utilized as a hedge. Hardy to zone 5. (S-0766)
  • Hydrangea paniculata ‘Unique’
    Left to its own designs, this vigorous Hydrangea has a natural upright and arching form, but it also responds well to pruning, making ‘Unique’ an effective choice where space is scarce. The immense flower heads are spectacular and abundant, and true to name are unique in shape, being quite broad at the base and bluntly rounded at the tip. They begin the season a creamy white and gradually darken to a buff pink. Hardy to zone 3. (s-0348)
    hydrangea unique

    Hydrangea paniculata ‘Unique’

Trees & Vines

  • Clematis terniflora
    Sweet Autumn Clematis
    This spectacular New Zealand native is covered with small white flowers borne on long, arching panicles. The pink anthers, silky seed heads, and dark glossy leaves combine with the Hawthorn-like fragrance of the flowers to create a sensuous, alluring effect. We trained our Sweet Autumn Clematis to grow horizontally against a wall, so that the evergreen foliage contrasts with the hanging flower panicles. Hardy to zone 6. (T-0108)
  • Parrotia persica
    F. W. Parrot, who made the first ascent of Mt. Ararat in 1829, lends his name to this low branched, round headed, deciduous Persian native with tremendous landscape value. In spring, the silver, green and cream-colored smooth bark is complemented by lustrous green foliage and in autumn it’s highlighted by exquisite gold, rosy pink and crimson tones. Later, showy red stamens and wooly brown bracts create a reddish haze around bare limbs, making a virtual carousel of color and texture. Pest free Persian Ironwood prefers well drained soil and detests both overly wet or dry conditions. Grows moderately. 10’ in 6–8 yrs. Hardy to zone 5. (T-0016)

Current Staff’s Favorite Plant

staff favorite plant

This week the hummingbirds picked our favorite plant! We love it as well because of it’s colorful two-toned effect. Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ 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’. (P-0772)

More news, events, and favorite plants


Customer Comment:

“We received it today - the plants look great, despite their cross-country trek....Thank you!”

~Catherine in North Carolina


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