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Products > Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman'
Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman' - Blue Sage

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae) (Mints)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Blue Violet
Bloomtime: Summer
Synonyms: [S. clevelandii 'Winifred Gilman', Hort.]
Height: 4-5 feet
Width: 4-5 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman' (Sage) - A selection of California Blue Sage, Salvia clevelandii, that grows to 3 to 4 feet tall and wide with aromatic gray-green foliage and profuse golf ball-shaped clusters of electric blue-purple flowers. The flowers arise from dark ruby red calyces that form in whorls along the top foot of each reddish stem tip - flowering commences in late spring or early summer and continues for about a month. Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil. This native chaparral plant will survive on very little to no supplemental irrigation but plants are more attractive if given an occasional deep watering, so long as the soil drains well. Hardy to at least 15 F and reported by Las Pilitas Nursery as hardy to 10 F and a bit lower in the right location. To keep a dense and more attractive plant, cut back in the late fall to early winter by about a third or more when young - once mature with woody stems, only tip prune. The foliage of Blue Sage has a very nice fragrance that has been described as "clean, like a sweet desert morning" and the flowers to emit a pleasant aroma - both fresh and dry calyces are useful in flower arrangements. Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman' is considered to be a true selection of blue sage. The similar sages such as 'Allen Chickering' and 'Whirly Blue', which both are more open, taller and have paler blue flowers are considered to be Salvia clevelandii hybrids. Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman' was originally released without collection data at a Strybing Arboretum (now the San Francisco Botanic Garden) plant sale in 1964, named for one of their volunteer propagators. It was later noted growing in a Berkeley, CA garden by Sherrie Althouse and Phil Van Soelen of California Flora Nursery and was introduced into the California nursery trade by them in 1990. We have grown this great plant since 1993 and until 2007 misspelled Winnifred's name as "Winifred". Our thanks to Betsy Clebsch for correcting this error, though we note that this misspelling seems to now be widely used by many nurseries now growing this plant - our apologies to Winnie!  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 observed it in. We also will incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman'.