This genus belongs to the Mint family and includes about 100 perennials as well as subshrubs from the Mediterranean and western Asia. Drought resistant and hardy, many of the species will thrive in warm sunny sites and dry woodland edges. Ornamental whorls of purple, pink or yellow blooms open in the summer, providing long-lasting stems and flower clusters for fresh and dried decoration in the garden or kitchen.
Brightened by white heavily veined undersides and light fuzzy stems, thick heart-shaped pewter green leaves craft a handsome flanneled appearance. Stiff swarthy stalks thrust upward, interspersed with large long lasting showy whorls of spicy scented helmet-like, rich yellow flowers. This rugged shrubby perennial develops a somewhat woody foundation over time, and always brings fulgent accents to hot exposed slopes, wind-swept seaside plantings or any other sharp-draining sunny locale.
Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 3' 0" – 4' 0" wide.
Hardy to zone 7.
With a rugged constitution yet stately stature, this enduring Himalayan denizen spawns 12 in. long, spade-shaped gray-green leaves that emphasize a felted aspect, scalloped margins plus luminous silver undersides. Stout woolly stems shoulder the large whorled clusters of tubular lilac-pink blooms above a soft-looking bushy foundation. Adored by birds, bees and butterflies, Phlomis cashmeriana remains evergreen in milder climates, while appreciating proper air circulation, sunshine galore and sharp-draining soil.
Size: 2' 0" – 3' 0" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.
Hardy to zone 5.
Launched in 1967 by Hilliers, a celebrated British nursery that supposedly received the namesake’s own garden seed, this grand hard-to-find Phlomis is an evergreen hybrid between Phlomis fruticosa and Phlomis russeliana. Commendable even on frosty winter mornings, the 6 to 10 in. tall spires are studded with large clustered snapdragon-like blooms composed of cream-colored hoods plus lemon-yellow lips. Daring spade-shaped green leaves, flashing felted finishes and silver undersides, attire staunch square upright stems beneath a colorful bumble-bee haven. Versatile, vigorous and dependable, deer-resistant ‘Edward Bowles’s can be added to mixed borders or water thrifty plantings.
Blooms June–early October
Size: 4' 0" high x 4' 0" wide.
Hardy to zone 7.
These bright yellow flowers bloom in a series of ball-like clusters known as verticillasters along stout stems and above felted, gray-green foliage. Used as a specimen or blended with Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ or Wood Oats, Phlomis fruticosa will provide bold color and form.
Size: 4' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.
Hardy to zone 6.
A golden aura infuses the small gray-green woolly foliage of this soft-looking 2002 AGM winner. Endemic to Crete, long-lived Phlomis lanata sports yellow hooded flowers, rising in whorled widely spaced tiers above a low compact foundation that wards off deer, rabbits and drought. Its stalwart good looks can be intermingled with Mediterranean neighbors such as Rosemary, Rock Roses and Eryngiums.
Size: 2' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.
Hardy to zone 7.
Asserting an architectural profile, thick straight stems broadcast separate whorls of hooded butter-yellow blooms. Its stalwart beauty even perseveres through winter—the stalks look equally impressive whether fresh or spent as they stand above large and broad, heart-shaped olive-green leaves. The fuzzy foliage forms a plush low growing, evergreen cover that keeps those pesky weeds at bay. In our garden, Phlomis russeliana casts dashing accents along a pathway, assorting with Aster ‘Fellowship’ and Molinias.
Size: 3' 0" high x 2' 0" & spreading wide.
Hardy to zone 4.
Distinguished by an AGM and the unusual small potato-like tubers sprouting from its roots, this exceptional Phlomis is adorned with hooded dusty-lilac blossoms, nestled within reddish calyxes, and sturdy deep crimson-tinged flower stalks. Large, toothed arrow-shaped green foliage lends an appealing texture, while grasses and Lavenders make good company.
Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 12" wide.
With arrow-shaped lush green leaves, lustrous burgundy stalks and tiered wreaths of rosy-lilac tubular flowers on statuesque stems, this well-mannered perennial adds dignity to the landscape. The toothed downy leaves forge a robust bushy base that’s semievergreen in many locales and relatively drought tolerant. Equally at home in a formal setting or a meadow planting, versatile ‘Amazone’ can be planted amid Stachys ‘Superba’ and Salvia ‘Amethyst’ for a fantastic purple and pink mélange.
Size: 4' 0" – 5' 0" high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.