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Products > Salvia oxyphora
Salvia oxyphora - Fuzzy Bolivian Sage
Image of Salvia oxyphora
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae) (Mints)
Origin: Bolivia (South America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Magenta
Bloomtime: Spring/Fall
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Light Shade/Part Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20° F
Salvia oxyphora (Fuzzy Bolivian Sage) - A compact upright evergreen sub-shrub to 4 tall by nearly as wide with glossy dark green corrugated lanceolate 5 inch long leaves and are covered in tiny hairs From late spring (June) to first frost appear the clusters on 6 to 8 inch long spikes at branch tips bearing very attractive inch and a half long inflated tubular vibrant magenta flowers that are fuzzy on all outer surfaces with pink hairs.

Plant in part day sun in a rich amended soil with regular irrigation. Hardy to 10 to 15° F. Pinch growth tips to encourage branching and compactness. A very attractive and unusual plant for the perennial border or other irrigated locations in the garden or in a large container. It is very attractive to hummingbirds.

Salvia oxyphora comes from the foothills and lower slopes to up to 7,200 feet in the Bolivian Andes into Peru. It was first collected in 1892 by German plant explorer Otto Kuntze near the city of Cochabamba as he went the jungles of Central Bolivia’s Los Yungas forest in the Andes Mountains. The name Salvia comes from the name used by Pliny for a plant in the genus 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 likely is from the Latin words 'oxy', meaning bearing and 'phora' meaning "sword", likely in reference the pointed leaf tips of this plant. Other common names include Bolivian Hummingbird Sage, Bolivian Spearhead Sage. The folks at the wonderful Bay Area Annie's Annuals and Perennials Nursery note it a favorite at their nursery where they call it "Elmo's Sage" in reference to its resemblance to the hairy red Muppet character. 

This information about Salvia oxyphora displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.