San Marcos Growers LogoSan Marcos Growers
New User
Wholesale Login
Enter Password
Home Products Purchase Gardens About Us Resources Contact Us
COVID-19 Response
Search Utilities
Plant Database
Search Plant Name
Detail Search Avanced Search Go Button
Search by size, origins,
details, cultural needs
Website Search Search Website GO button
Search for any word
Site Map
Retail Locator
Plant Listings

PLANT TYPE
PLANT GEOGRAPHY
PLANT INDEX
ALL PLANT LIST
PLANT IMAGE INDEX
PLANT INTROS
SPECIALTY CROPS
NEW  2023 PLANTS

PRIME LIST
  for JUNE


Natives at San Marcos Growers
Succulents at San Marcos Growers
 Weather Station

 
Products > Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips'
 
Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips'
   
Image of Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae) (Mints)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Red
Bloomtime: Year-round
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: 4-5 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips' (Bicolor Littleaf Sage) - A vigorous evergreen subshrub that grows to 3 to 4 feet tall by 5 feet wide with aromatic small ovate shaped deep green leaves that are soft and scalloped. From spring to late fall (really nearly year-round in coastal Southern California) appear the showy red and white bicolored flowers that are held in loose terminal racemes. Typically the first flowers in the inflorescence are pure red with later flowers bicolored, with the white beginning at the base of the flower and increasing on the ensuing flowers primarily with the lower lip remaining red and the upper white until the progression of white increases up the lower lip with later flowers a pure white. Plant in full to part sun (blooms best in full sun) in a well drained soil and irrigate occasionally to very little once established in coastal gardens - in the UC Davis irrigation trials this plant performed admirably given medium levels of irrigation (40 to 60% of ETo) and this plant received their Happy Medium Award for its great performance in the warm central valley but in coastal areas it is considered to be a "drought tolerant" plant and can get by on less frequent irrigation. Like other Salvia microphylla (we grow another called Salvia microphylla 'Berzerkeley') it has proven evergreen to around 15F and resprouting from the ground from temperatures below this and some consider it hardy enough to be useful as a perennial in gardens down to USDA zone 6a. Timely occasional light shearings keep plant neater looking and can encourage inflorescences of different age, so that all flower color forms are displayed at the same time. This is a durable low maintenance and showy evergreen plant in the garden that is resistant to predation by deer and rabbits and it has very interesting nectar-rich flowers are attractive to hummingbirds and other pollinators. This plant was first introduced by the Strybing Arboretum (now San Francisco Botanic Garden in the year 2000. Richard Turner, then editor of Pacific Horticulture noted this interesting bicolored sage growing in the collection of potted plants of Alta Gracia, the housekeeper at his friend's home in the colonial town of San Mstiguel de Allende, Mexico, whom he was visiting in November 1999. With their permission Turner took cuttings from this plant and upon return to San Francisco gave them to Don Mahoney, then horticulturist at Strybing Arboretum. Volunteers at the Strybing named the plant 'Hot Lips'. It was initially introduced as a cultivar of Salvia microphylla but is also sometimes listed it as a cultivar of the closely related Salvia greggii or as a cultivar of the naturally occurring hybrid between these two species that is called Salvia jamensis. There has been considerable debate about its parentage but we list it under the name is was first introduced and note that the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew database has it as Salvia jamensis 'Hot Lips' . Garden Design magazine named 'Hot Lips' (as a Salvia greggii cultivar) as one of the top one hundred plants of 2004 and it was a recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society in 2015.  Information displayed on this page about  Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips' is based on the research conducted about it in our library and from reliable online resources. We also note those observations we have made of this plant as it grows in the nursery's garden and in other gardens, as well how crops have performed in our nursery field. We will incorporate comments we receive from others, and welcome to hear from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if they share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.
 
  [MORE INFO]