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Best of Class

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Best of Class

Remember in childhood when you received a ribbon for doing a super job on a task or in a competition? It signaled an accomplishment of which others took notice. There are times at Flowers by the Sea when we pause from work and glimpse a plant that is particularly beautiful and reliable. We feel like hanging a colorful county-fair-type ribbon on it to proclaim top achievement. This Best of Class list shares the plants we honor as being winners in many ways. We give them accolades for great garden performance.

Each of our Best of Class plants is marked with a first-place ribbon icon giving a brief explanation of how it is tops. The accolade marks plants that are tops within a specific grouping or species for combinations of characteristics such as adaptability, appearance, cold hardiness, drought resistance, durability, ease of growth, heat tolerance, long bloom time, pest resistance, size and usability in particular circumstances.

Regarding usability, for example, we might recommend one plant as best of class among Salvia groundcovers for dry slopes and another as the best groundcover for damp shade.

This way of identifying fine performers is similar to the kind of “super plant” recommendations that university extension services sometimes offer. We base our Best of Class selections not only on experience with the plants in our gardens but on feedback from customers around the nation. When you call or write to us, we really do pay attention.

Keep in mind that what is best for your garden may not be best in another region with different growing conditions. When selecting plants from our catalog, please read their descriptions carefully to be sure they fit your local climate and any special features of your property. If a Best of Class plant is right for your USDA zone, summer heat, water availability and soil characteristics as well as the size and light level of the planned growing area, then it is one of the best choices you can make.

Plants


  • Salvia spathacea 'Elk Rose'

    (Elk Rose Hummingbird Sage) Dusky pastel, rose-toned flowers with burgundy stamens are surrounded by silvery, velvety bracts in this unusual variety of the native California species Salvia spathacea. It is an FBTS cultivar developed through several generations of breeding.
    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia splendens ‘Giant Form'

    (Giant Red Scarlet Sage) Looking to fill in large shady area? This may be your best bet. This variety is largest that we know of, growing to 6 feet - 7 feet - or even more in a sheltered shady spot.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia splendens ‘Sao Borja’

    (Sao Borja Scarlet Sage) Three-inch-long, smokey purple blossoms that bloom from spring to fall are a major clue that this heat-tolerant perennial is not your grandmother's Scarlet Sage.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia subrotunda

    (Giant Brazilian Sage) Yes, this one is gigantic. The first season we grew this heat-tolerant sage, it reached 8 feet tall by July! Masses of small, red-orange, trumpet-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds and honeybees to long, upward curving flower spikes towering over heart-shaped foliage.

    8.50
     


  • Salvia valentina

    (Strong Spanish Sage) Fuzzy green stems and bracts mature to burgundy on this lovely, lavender flowered sage that roughly doubles in height when blooming. Salvia valentina is a variety of the European native S. nemorosa, a Meadow Sage.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia VIBE 'Ignition Purple'

    (Salvia VIBE®'Ignition Purple') Purple once was a color reserved for royalty. Salvia VIBE® 'Ignition Purple' has deep royal purple flowers that are rare in a Jame Sage hybrid.  They bloom spring to fall for your enjoyment.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia x 'Alegria Dark Pink'

    (Dark Pink Joy Sage) Salvia x 'Alegría Dark Pink' is one of the most vigorous new plants at Flowers by the Sea.  It is a South American introduction from Roland Uria, an agronomy professor and plant researcher from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. This select clone is a deep burgundy pink shade.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia x 'Alegria Light Pink'

    (Light Pink Joy Sage) Salvia x 'Alegría Light Pink' is one of the most vigorous new plants at Flowers by the Sea.  It is a South American introduction from Roland Uria, an agronomy professor and plant researcher from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. This select clone is a soft light pink shade.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia x 'Anthony Parker'

    (Anthony Parker Bush Sage) Floriferous spikes of dark blue to purple flowers bloom midsummer to fall on this tidy, mid-height subshrub that grows as wide as it is tall.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Bee's Bliss'

    (Bee's Bliss Sage) If you are looking for a California native sage to use as a groundcover, Bee's Bliss is a fine choice. Low-growing, widespreading and colorful, it is ideal for choking weeds.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Betsy's Choice'

    (Betsy's Choice Sage) Life and botany have their beautiful mysteries. Betsy's Choice Sage is one of them. We aren't certain of the parentage or history of this tall, attractive, fast-growing sage. However, we are certain that we love its long, royal purple flowers. Hummingbirds do as well.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Big Swing'

    (Big Swing Sage) With its large, cobalt blue flowers displayed on strong, wiry, branched stems, this eye-catching sage wins the FBTS "best of class" designation for being our top Salvia macrophylla.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Celestial Blue'

    (Celestial Blue Sage) Fast growing and adaptable, this sage is a chance hybrid between Cleveland Sage (Salvia clevelandii) -- also called California Blue Sage -- and California Rose Sage (Salvia pachyphylla). It may also be related to California Purple Sage (Salvia leucophylla).

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Elk Bella Rosa'

    (Elk Bella Rosa Jame Sage) The large, creamy pink and burgundy flowers of this sage are stately in contrast with its deep green, veined, ovate foliage that is pleasantly fragrant. Elk Bella Rosa is as elegant as its name implies. It's also long blooming.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Elk Blue Moon II'

    (Elk Blue Moon II Jame Sage) The phrase "blue moon" signifies a rare event. Elk Blue Moon Jame Sage is an unusual combination for a Salvia x jamensis hybrid -- dusky violet flowers with pale-blue throats, dark blue calyxes and mid-green foliage.

    Note:  This is a new (2014) cultivar that we chose to replace the original 'Elk Blue Moon'.  It is a superior grower, and otherwise very similar.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Elk Buttercup'

    (Elk Buttercup Jame Sage) Red flower buds unfurl into the surprisingly buttery yellow blossoms of Elk Buttercup. Subtly bicolored, the flowers have touches of light pink including fine hairs on the upper lip.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Elk Cotton Candy'

    (Elk Cotton Candy Jame Sage) Rosy hairs on the upper lip and pale white throats highlight the translucent, blush pink blossoms of Elk Cotton Candy Jame Sage. Dark, deeply contrasting calyxes support the medium-size flowers.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Elk Crimson King'

    (Elk Crimson King Jame Sage) Sometimes words fail us when trying to describe a unique new color. Definitely red, but with a clear blue overlay and a blue eye. Featuring masses of flowers that delight pollinators, this FBTS introduction is new for 2017.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia x 'Elk Lemon Light'

    (Elk Lemon Light Jame Sage) We are proud to offer this luminescent, pure yellow Salvia x jamensis -- a color breakthrough from our own breeding program. The bright, light blossoms cool the landscape similar to white flowers, but with colorful impact.  The glossy green leaves are quite small - a very attractive and distinctive characteristic.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Elk Lush Lavender'

    (Elk Lush Lavender Jame Sage) Pale white accents mark the throats of this sage's large, rich lavender flowers. In contrast, the calyxes cupping the blossoms are a dark blue-green. Overall, the look is serene.

    10.50
     


    This plant can now be ordered
    Preorder yours today, and your plants will be reserved for your selected shipping date.

    Due in stock and ready to ship on May 13, 2017


  • Salvia x 'Elk Plum Parfait'

    (Elk Plum Parfait Jame Sage) It's a toss-up as to which are more dramatic -- the deep purple calyxes so dark they almost look black or the plum-colored flowers with pronounced white beelines. Elk Plum Parfait is a rare treat.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Elk Twilight's Rosy Glow'

    (Elk Twilight's Rosy Glow Jame Sage) Rosy red hairs accentuate the upper lip of each dusky, salmon-pink blossom of this cheery Jame Sage. The flowers are tiny but abundant and are supported by bright green calyxes.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Elk White Ice'

    (Elk White Ice Jame Sage) Never before have we seen such a pure white among the species to which Jame Sages are related. We love this purity as well as the bright green calyxes supporting the large flowers of Elk White Ice and giving it an overall crisp look.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia x 'Ember's Wish'

    (Ember's Wish Sage) Bright coral-colored, tubular blossoms contrast handsomely with the deep maroon stems, rusty rose calyxes and mid-green foliage of Ember's Wish Sage.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Love and Wishes'

    (Love and Wishes Sage) Deep purple calyxes support the magenta-purple, tubular blossoms of Salvia x 'Love and Wishes'. They contrast handsomely with dark stems and mid-green foliage.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Mellow Yellow'

    (Mellow Yellow Sage) Yellow-flowering Salvias always command attention in the garden.   An intentional hybrid between the very rare and difficult to grow Salvia bulleyana and the energetic Salvia campanulata, this plant embodies the best characteristics of each parent.

    14.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Mulberry Jam'

    (Mulberry Jam Roseleaf Sage) Magenta flower buds burst into fuzzy, hot pink blossoms in this hybrid sage from the gardens of Betsy Clebsch, author of The New Book of Salvias.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Penny's Smile'

    (Penny's Smile Hybrid Sage) British Salvia aficionado Robin Middleton, of the indispensable Robin’s Salvias website, developed this lovely and hardy hybrid from a chance seedling he found near the Salvia ‘Silke’s Dream’ in his garden. Heavily textured and hot pink, the 1-inch-long flowers are bright as lipstick.
    10.50
     


    This plant can now be ordered
    Preorder yours today, and your plants will be reserved for your selected shipping date.

    Due in stock and ready to ship on May 13, 2017


  • Salvia x 'Scarlet Spires'

    (Scarlet Spires Sage) This is a brilliant cross between the sturdy D'Arcy's Sage (Salvia darcyi) and the beautifully colored 'Raspberry Delight' Littleleaf Sage (Salvia microphylla 'Raspberry Delight').

    10.50
     


    This plant can now be ordered
    Preorder yours today, and your plants will be reserved for your selected shipping date.

    Due in stock and ready to ship on May 13, 2017


  • Salvia x 'Wendy's Wish'

    (Wendy's Wish Sage) A new hybrid Salvia from Australia, Wendy's Wish is absolutely spectacular! Quick to bloom, compact and tidy in habit, we believe this to be one of the finest of all Salvia varieties.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x jamensis 'California Sunset'

    (California Sunset Hybrid Jame Sage) Entranced is the only word to describe how we felt when we first saw the sunset pastels of this Jame Sage. After growing it for multiple seasons, we are just as impressed by its compact, well-branched form.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia x jamensis 'Dyson's Orangy Pink'

    (Dyson's Orangy Pink Hybrid Jame Sage) Many Salvia x jamensis hybrids remind gardeners of sunrise, such as Dyson's Orangy Pink. Light green calyxes faintly striped with red cup its luminous pale salmon pink blossoms with creamy throats.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia x jamensis 'Shell Dancer'

    (Shell Dancer Sage) So many sages combine resilience and loveliness. This includes Salvia 'Shell Dancer', which withstands heat and drought yet has delicate looking blossoms and lush green foliage.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x jamensis 'Tangerine Ballet'

    (Tangerine Ballet Hybrid Jame Sage) Soft pinkish-orange flowers with contrasting yellow eyes make this Jame Sage look as tasty as sorbet. Hardy to at least 10 degrees F, Tangerine Ballet is also heat tolerant, drought resistant and long blooming-- all marks of Salvias in the closely related Autumn and Mountain Sage group.

    10.50
     


  • Seemannia sylvatica 'Bolivian Sunset'

    (Bolivian Sunset Hardy Gloxinia) These flowers have a glow that lights up a shady spot. Furry and rich in color - and two inches long - they are numerous to the point of almost hiding the attractive dark green leaves during their peak. This spectacular Gesneriad comes form high elevations in the Bolivian Andes, and is Zone 8 hardy with proper mulching.

    10.50
     


  • Sinningia 'Scarlet O'Hara'

    (Scarlet O'Hara Hardy Gloxinia) This plant's  long, tubular, deep pink flowers dangle from apple green, leaf-like calyxes. Fuzzy red petioles connect the flowers to deep red stems rising above slightly furry, soft green leaves. This older hybrid of South American gloxinias can handle a bit of winter chill.

    10.50
     




Take a Quick Look at a group of Salvias
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Reviews


This is a healthy beautiful plant. I have already seen this one in bloom and that is why I ordered it. It is incredibly cute in bloom. I can't wait.
Mrs. Carol Moreno
Mar 30, 2017