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Phlomis fruticosa (photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story)
Phlomis fruticosa (photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story)

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Zones 3B, 4-24, 31, 32
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular WaterMinimal Water
Moderate, Minimal

Phlomis fruticosa

Jerusalem Sage
Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Evergreen, Shrubs


Mediterranean natives. Erect stems are set with widely spaced whorls of hooded, two-lipped flowers in yellow, purple, or lilac. Moisture-conserving thick, typically furry or hairy leaves are lance shaped to oval, set opposite each other on stems.

Not particular about soil but must have good drainage. Need little water where summers are cool; in hot-summer regions, give them more moisture. Cut flowers are striking in mixed arrangements; blooming stems dry well for winter bouquets.

Phlomis fruticosa

This shrub grows to 4 ft. tall and wide, with woolly gray-green leaves to 6–8 in. long and 1 1/4 in. wide. Deep golden yellow, 1-in. flowers in ball-shaped whorls along upper half of stems. Cut plants back by half in fall to keep them compact. With watering, will produce several waves of bloom in spring and summer if cut back lightly after each flowering. Can tolerate light shade for part of day. Resistant to oak root fungus.

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