Brandegee Sage, Baja Sage, Santa Rosa Island Sage
Thought of as drought-tolerant shrubs in much of the West, this huge genus—the largest in the mint family—includes many species of shrubs and perennials that need moderate to regular water. In recent years, scores of new species and selections have appeared in Western nurseries, many tender varieties that are even being offered as annuals in cold-winter climates. All sages have square stems and whorls of two-lipped flowers, either distinctly spaced along flower stalks or so tightly crowded that they look like one dense spike; some species have branched inflorescences. Flower colors range from white and yellow through salmon and pink to scarlet and pure red, from pale lavender to true blue and darkest purple. A few sages have fragrant blossoms. Many have aromatic foliage.
Nurseries in the West offer nearly 100 species as well as dozens of selections and hybrids. Names are often confused; S. x jamensis varieties are often assigned to S. greggii; and S. nemorosa varieties are often interchanged with S. x superba and S. x sylvestris varieties.Salvia brandegeei
Evergreen shrub, native to Santa Rosa Island and coastal Baja California. Sprawling plant to 4–5 ft. tall and 5–7 ft. wide. Linear, scalloped, 3–4-in.-long leaves are shiny, rough-textured dark green above, woolly white beneath. Tight, widely spaced whorls of 1/2-in., pale lavender, broad-lipped flowers appear on stems to 10 in. long; persistent violet-gray calyxes. Early spring bloom. Shorten branches by one-third during or right after bloom. Long-lasting cut flowers. Drought-tolerant.
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Briefly deciduous. To 40–60 ft. tall; pyramidal in youth but more spreading (to about 30 ft.) in...