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Zones 6-9, 14-24
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Full
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Moderate

Salvia uliginosa

Bog Sage, Blue Spike Sage

Perennials, Flowers

SALVIA

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 uliginosa

Perennial, from moist lowlands in South America. Upright, dense grower to 4–6 ft. tall and 3–4 ft. wide, spreading aggressively by rhizomes. Smooth green leaves are lance-shaped, toothed; they reach 3 1/2 in. long near the plant’s base, decrease in size toward the top. Branched inflorescence with 5–6-in. stems carries whorls of 1/2-in., intensely blue flowers with a white throat and wide lower lip. Blooms summer through fall. To restrain spread, give only moderate water or confine roots by planting in a 15-gal. nursery can sunk in the ground to the rim.

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