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Products > Perovskia 'Blue Spire'
 
Perovskia 'Blue Spire' - Russian Sage
   

 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae) (Mints)
Origin: Pakistan (Asia)
Flower Color: Lavender Blue
Bloomtime: Summer/Fall
Synonyms: [Salvia 'Blue Spire']
Parentage: (P. abrotanoides (Salvia yangii) x P.atriplicifolia?)
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: < 0 F
Perovskia 'Blue Spire' (Russian Sage) - This is a hardy, upright multi-stemmed, sub-shrub or deciduous perennial that grows to 3 to 4 feet tall (to 5' if well irrigated) with stems that are thin, white and covered with finely-divided feathery olive-green leaves, which emit a pleasant aroma when touched. The light fuzzy clusters of small lavender-blue flowers appear summer through early fall along the coast. Cut back to the lowest buds (nearly to the ground) in late fall as the plant tries to go dormant (leaves can linger here in our mild climate) or in early spring prior to new growth emerging. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil with occasional summer watering, though it is a tough plant that is resistant to drought, heat, pests and poor soils. Russian Sage is hardy to USDA Zone 5a (-20F), is resistant to deer browsing and the flowers attract butterflies and honeybees and are nice in floral arrangements. Perovskia has long been considered to be closely related to the genus Salvia (sages) but the common name Russian Sage is a bit of a misnomer as they come from southern Asia from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran east to China. The genus was named for Russian General and Count, Vasily Alekseevich Perovsky, who campaigned in central Asia in the 1850s. The most recent treatment of Perovskia based on DNA research has the genus included with rosemary in the now even larger genus Salvia. We continue to list it under its older name to avoid confusing our customers. This 'Blue Spire' cultivar was originally received by Notcutts Nurseries of Suffolk, England from Germany. They named it and first exhibited it to the Royal Horticultural Society in 1961. It is thought to be a Perovskia atriplicifolia (now considered a synonym with Salvia yangii) cultivar or a hybrid between this species and P. abrotanoides (now Salvia abrotanoides). It received the Perennial Plant Association's Plant of the Year award in 1995 and we have grown it continuously since 1989.  The information on this page is based on our research that has been conducted on this plant in our nursery library, from online sources, and from observations made of the crops growing in the nursery, plants in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we have observed it. We also have incorporated comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Perovskia 'Blue Spire'.