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Zones 12-31, H1, H2
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Moderate, Minimal

Salvia leucantha

Mexican Bush Sage, Velvet Sage
Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Evergreen, Shrubs

SALVIA

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. Sages attract hummingbirds, bees, butterflies.

Salvia leucantha

Vigorous, upright, velvety plant to 3–4 ft. tall, 3–6 ft. or more wide; sprawls in bloom. Lance-shaped to linear, 5–6-in.-long leaves are dark grayish green above, whitish below. Stems to 1 ft. long bear whorls of 3/4–1 1/4-in. white flowers with purple calyxes. Bloom period runs from fall through spring in mildwinter areas, stops with frost in colder climates.

'Midnight', 'Purple Velvet'

Considered bymany to be the best-lookingform, has purple flowers andcalyxes.

'Santa Barbara'

‘Santa Barbara’ hasflowers similar to 'Midnight' but is a compactgrower to just 2 1/2 ft. high and3–4 ft. wide.

Salvia leucantha 'Waverly', photo courtesy of Linda Lamb Peters
Salvia leucantha 'Waverly', photo courtesy of Linda Lamb Peters

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'Waverly'

‘Waverly’ is ahybrid that grows 5 ft. tall, withwhite flowers. It is hardy onlyto about 25°F (–4°C).

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