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Products > Phlomis lanata
Phlomis lanata - Small Jerusalem Sage

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae) (Mints)
Origin: Crete (Mediterranean
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Year-round
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Phlomis lanata (Small Jerusalem Sage) - A low compact shrub 1 to 2 feet tall by 4 to 6 feet or more wide with small 1/2 to 1 inch long rounded wooly gray-green leaves that have attractive small raised dimples on the upper surface between leaf veins. The lemon-yellow flowers, arranged in several whorls, rise just above the foliage from early spring through late fall, but heaviest bloom is in late spring to mid-summer. Plant in full sun to light shade with occasional to very little summer water - this plant is quite drought tolerant. Cold tolerant to at least 18 degrees F and listed as hardy throughout most winters in the British Isles. The wooly leaves make it resistant to deer predation and rabbits also seem to leave it alone as well. Phlomis lanata is endemic to Crete, where it can be found from sea level to 5,000 feet in elevation growing in rocky soils along cliffs and in clearings in cypress woodlands and within the garigue, the vegetation type we call "chaparral" here in California, "fynbos" in South Africa, "mallee" in Australia and "matorral" in Chile. It received the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Award of Garden Merit in 2002. A 20 year old planting along the road in front of our nursery attests to this plant durability and how big it can get over this amount of time - while only 18 inches tall it covers an area about 12 by 12 feet. The name for the genus dates back to the first century AD from the Greek physician Dioscorides use of the word to describe some plants in the genus and it thought to originate from the Greek word meaning "flame" because the leaves of some species were used for lamp wicks. The specific epithet means wooly in reference to the hairs covering most parts of this plant. We got our first plant of Phlomis lanata from Native Sons Nursery in Arroyo Grande, California in 1987 and have been growing this wonderful plant ever since.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We have also incorporated comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing  Phlomis lanata.