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Products > Salvia leucantha
 
Salvia leucantha - Mexican Sage
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae) (Mints)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Purple
Bloomtime: Year-round
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20° F
Salvia leucantha (Mexican Sage) - A quick growing shrub that can reach 3-5 feet tall and as wide as it spreads outward at the base from its rootstock. It has young upright stems covered with woolly white hairs and narrow 3 to 4 inch long leaves that are gray-green above and whitish from dense short hairs below. The flowers are composed of velvety purple calyces with extended white petals, emerging from congested vertices (rings of flowers) extending 6 to 12 inches at branch tips. These flowers are well above the foliage and appear almost year-round along the coast; peak bloom period is spring through fall until first frost. Plant in full sun to light shade and irrigate occasionally to infrequently – is drought tolerant and somewhat rampant growth can be controlled by judicious irrigation practices. Evergreen to 25° F but proven root hardy in our garden to 18° F and possibly lower with mulching. Cut back annually in late winter to maintain best appearance and trim older flowers that weight stems down to encourage more upright growth and a tidier appearance. Useful in cut flower arrangements fresh and when dried retain flower and calyx colors. This sage is reported to inhabit a wide area in tropical and subtropical pine forests in central and eastern Mexico. The name Salvia comes from the Latin name used by Pliny for the plant and comes from the Latin word 'salvere' meaning "to save" in reference to the long-believed healing properties of several Sage species. The specific epithet comes from the Latin words 'leucos' meaning "white" and 'anthos' meaning flower. We first listed this plant in our 1985 catalog and also grow the dark purple flowered form Salvia leucantha 'Midnight', the compact form Salvia leucantha 'Santa Barbara' and the pink and white flowered Salvia leucantha Danielle’s Dream This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Salvia leucantha.
 
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