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Echeandia texensis


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Echeandia texensis
Degree of Difficulty
Easy
Degree of Difficulty
This plant is easy to grow in a variety of conditions.
Blue Tag Xeric
Blue Tag Plant
This plant is sensitive to overwatering.

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Description

(Texas Craglily) Echeandia texensis shines in many ways. First, the delicate looking yet tough flowers are a rich shade of gold. Other stellar traits include its ability to tolerate clay soils, heat, a moderate amount of winter cold and drought.

This perennial's common name might mislead you into thinking it is a canyon plant. However, according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, it's native to clay soils in the dunes and arroyos of the Rio Grande River Valley of southern Texas. This includes locations on the Gulf Coast.

Sometimes it is called Mexican Hat Lily due to the flowers looking a bit like upside down, floppy sombreros with tall crowns.

The scientific name is also a bit confusing. Although some sources refer to Texas Craglily as belonging to the lily family (Liliaceae), others say it belongs in the asparagus family (Asparagaceae). Instead of bulbs, it grows from corms.

Despite its drought resistance, E. texensis thrives with average watering based on local conditions and is known to adapt well to the moister climate of the Southeast.

Finally, it's worth knowing that this is an excellent butterfly plant that does its best to discourage deer.

Details

Product rating
 
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In stock
10 item(s) available

Common name  
Texas Craglily
USDA Zones  
7 - 10
Size (h/w/fh)  
18"/24"/72"
Exposure  
Full sun
Soil type  
Any well drained
Water needs  
Drought resistant
Pot size  
3 1/2 inch deep pot
Container plant?  
Yes
Our price
10.50

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Quantity (10 available)

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Here are some guidelines for success with this plant in your garden.
Click on an individual icon for more detailed information.

Exposure

Full sun
Full sun
Heat tolerant
Heat tolerant

Growing Habit

7 - 10
7 - 10
18 inches tall
18 inches tall
24 inches wide
24 inches wide
Perennial
Perennial

Water Needs

Average water
Average water
Drought resistant
Drought resistant

Blooming Season

Fall blooming
Fall blooming

Wildlife

Butterflies
Butterflies
Deer resistant
Deer resistant
  • Agastache cana 'Sinning'

    (Sonoran Sunset® Anise Hyssop) An abundance of lavender-rose flowers mark Agastache cana 'Sinning' as being unique from the typical purple-flowered plants of its species. Colorado plantsman Duane Sinning discovered this lovely hybrid.

    Sonoran Sunset® Anise Hyssop was developed by Plant Select, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Colorado State University. Plant Select promotes production of and education about xeriscapic, drought-resistant plants.

    Agastache is Greek for "many flower spikes." Cana describes the plant's gray foliage, which has a pleasant anise or licorice-like fragrance. Common names for this species include Mosquito Plant, Texas Hummingbird Mint and Double Bubble Mint.

    The trademarked name refers to the Sonoran Desert and the lovely sunset purples at end of day in the plant's native American Southwest. Aside from resisting drought, Sonoran Sunset® tolerates heat and cold. Put all these characteristics together and you have an intoxicating species that excels in semi-arid climates.

    Sonoran Sunset is a full sun plant that is easy to grow but requires excellent drainage. Get its conditions right and you will be rewarded with the happy buzz of butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds.

    Don't expect deer to bother this mint family (Lamiaceae) plant. Similar to Salvias and other minty relatives, Agastaches contain chemicals that don't appeal to hooved wildlife.

    Photo courtesy of Plant Select®.

    10.50

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  • Agastache x 'Kudos Coral'

    (Kudos Coral Hybrid Anise Hyssop) Dense plumes of deep coral flowers are accented by mid-green foliage in this heat- and drought-tolerant favorite of pollinators. Kudos Coral is a compact, clumping, semi-dwarf variety.

    Agastaches are ideal companion plants for Salvias and beneficial choices for attracting butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds. Similar to so many members of the mint family (Lamiaceae) -- such as sages -- they thrive in low-fertility soils, but need excellent drainage.

    Kudos Coral is a fragrant, long-blooming Agastache developed by Oregon's Terra Nova Nurseries.


    Most Agastaches are native to the Southwest and Northern Mexico. These are the most heat- and drought-tolerant members of the genus. In contrast, some species -- such as the Asian Agastache rugosa -- can handle more moisture and colder winters. This one does well in USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 5.

    By crossing Southwestern species with varieties of Agastache rugosa, you gain the best of both types as in the Kudos Series. Kudos Agastaches are more compact, floriferous, long flowering and weather-resistant than most Agastaches. Their non-browning calyces create long-lasting color that endures even when blossoms are gone.

    10.50
  • Agastache x 'Kudos Mandarin'

    (Kudos Mandarin Hybrid Anise Hyssop) Dense plumes of creamy orange flowers are accented by deep green foliage in this heat- and drought-tolerant favorite of pollinators. Kudos Mandarin is a compact, clumping, semi-dwarf variety.

    Agastaches are ideal companion plants for Salvias and beneficial choices for attracting butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds. Similar to so many members of the mint family (Lamiaceae) -- such as sages -- they thrive in low-fertility soils, but need excellent drainage.

    Kudos Mandarin is a fragrant, long-blooming Agastache developed by Oregon's Terra Nova Nurseries.

    Most Agastaches are native to the Southwest and Northern Mexico. These are the most heat- and drought-tolerant members of the genus. In contrast, some species -- such as the Asian Agastache rugosa -- can handle more moisture and colder winters.

    By crossing Southwestern species with varieties of Agastache rugosa, you gain the best of both types as in the Kudos Series. This one grows well in USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 5. Kudos Agastaches are more tidy and upright, floriferous, long flowering and weather-resistant than most Agastaches. Their non-browning calyces create long-lasting color that endures even when blossoms are gone.

    10.50
  • Asclepias curassavica 'Orange Form'

    (Orange Bloodflower) Vivid orange and gold clusters of tiny, star-shaped flowers contrast handsomely with the dark green, lance-shaped leaves of Orange Bloodflower. Other common names include Tropical Milkweed and Mexican Butterfly Weed.

    The last name tells you what a magnet this is for Lepidoptera . The endangered Monarch butterfly is particularly drawn to the milkweed family ( Asclepiadaceae), which includes Orange Bloodflower.

    Monarchs lay their eggs on milkweeds, because those are the only plants their caterpillars will eat. The roughness of fuzzy milkweed foliage makes it easier for eggs and chrysalises to cling to the plants. Monarch caterpillars consume powerful chemicals in the leaves protecting them as babies and adults against predators for whom the chemicals are toxic. Perhaps it is these chemicals that make deer avoid the plant.

    This particular milkweed is native to South America and is perennial in USDA zones where winter temperatures are warmer. In zones with colder winters, it works well as a bedding plant. When grown as an annual, Orange Bloodroot can be cut back in late autumn and moved indoors to overwinter. But don't forget to reduce watering and place it in a cool, but sunny location.

    Although it is a water lover, Orange Bloodflower grows well with average watering based on local conditions. It is a good solution for sunny, damp areas of the yard.

    Unlike Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), this species doesn't have a taproot. This means that it is easier to control the plant's spread.

    In the past few years, much has been written about the problems as well as the benefits that Tropical Milkweeds present for Monarch butterflies. Butterflies adore these lush bloomers, which offer plentiful nectar and provide what is becoming scarce -- lodging for Monarch larvae.

    However, where these plants persist outdoors during winter, Monarchs may not complete their migration to Mexico. This creates a number of difficulties, including illness for the butterflies. The best way to avoid this problem in warm regions is to cut all types of Tropical Milkweed to the ground during autumn.

    Please note: this is a seed grown strain and there is some variation in flower color from plant to plant.

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  • Asclepias curassavica 'Silky Gold'

    (Golden Bloodflower) Easy to cultivate, whether as an annual or tender perennial, Golden Bloodflower is a South American native that Monarchs and other butterflies love. Unlike Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), this species doesn't have a taproot. This means that it is easier to control the plant's spread.

    In addition to the name Bloodflower, this species is also known as Tropical Milkweed, Mexican Butterfly Weed and Bright Wings. Whereas some forms of the species -- such as Orange Bloodflower -- have bicolor red-orange and gold blossoms, this one is a long-blooming bright yellow.

    Golden Bloodflower does well in a variety of average garden soils, requires full sun and -- similar to other forms of the species -- tolerates heat. Although it loves ample water, average watering based on local conditions is sufficient. The plant's medium-tall height makes it a good choice for middle locations in borders and flowerbeds.

    Monarchs lay their eggs on the lance-shaped leaves of milkweeds -- the only plants their caterpillars will eat. The roughness of fuzzy milkweed foliage makes it easier for eggs and chrysalises to cling to the plants. Monarch caterpillars consume powerful chemicals in the leaves protecting them as babies and adults against predators for whom the chemicals are toxic. Perhaps it is these chemicals that make deer avoid the plant.

    In the past few years, much has been written about the problems as well as the benefits that Tropical Milkweeds present for Monarch butterflies. Butterflies adore these lush bloomers, which offer plentiful nectar and provide what is becoming scarce -- lodging for Monarch larvae.

    However, where these plants persist outdoors during winter, Monarchs may not complete their migration to Mexico. This creates a number of difficulties, including illness, for the butterflies. The best way to avoid this problem in warm regions is to cut all types of Tropical Milkweed to the ground during autumn.

    To keep Golden Bloodflower's roots from dying in areas with cold winters, you can cut the plant back before it loses its foliage and then transplant it to a container for overwintering indoors in a cool, sunny location.

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  • Kniphofia 'Mango Popsicle'

    (Mango Popsicle Hot Poker) This genus has become very popular in the last few years - for good reason. They feed hummingbirds & honeybees, and attract butterflies. And this superior variety from Oregon's TerraNova Nurseries is compact, free blooming and amazingly hardy.

    In 2011 and 2012 we grew dozens of the new Kniphofia varieties, and only a few stood out from the pack. This is absolutely our favorite. One of our nursery friends in Portland, Oregon said that it continued to bloom through January, even though the foliage was covered with a foot of snow.

    We don't grow many non-Salvias, and when we do it has to be special. This is one of those very, very good new plants. A must have plant.

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  • Kniphofia 'Pineapple Popsicle'

    (Pineapple Popsicle Hot Poker) This genus has become very popular in the last few years - for good reason. They feed hummingbirds and butterflies. And this superior variety from Oregon's TerraNova Nurseries is compact, free blooming and amazingly hardy.

    In 2011 and 2012 we grew dozens of the new Kniphofia varieties, and only a few stood out from the pack. We love this one for its bright, neutral color that goes with anything. One of our nursery friends in Portland, Oregon said that it continued to bloom through January, even though the foliage was covered with a foot of snow.

    We don't grow many non-Salvias, and when we do it has to be special. This is one of those very, very good new plants. A must have plant.

    11.50
  • Marrubium supinum

    (Scallop Shell Horehound) The mint family (Lamiaceae) is well known for fragrant, medicinal plants, including Marrubium supinum, which means "bitter" and "prostrate."

    Whorls of lavender blossoms create a cool look in combination with this Spanish native's foliage, which has a felted texture and looks silvery whitish green due to lots of tiny, moisture-conserving hairs.

    It's the shape of the groundcover's leaves and their softly rounded serrations that inspired the perennial's common name Scallop Shell Horehound.

    Hummingbirds enjoy the nectar of this full sun plant that tolerates heat, cold and drought. It's an effective, creeping groundcover for dry gardens and an excellent companion for waterwise Salvias. Once established, Scallop Shell Horehound needs little supplemental watering.

    Marrubium is said to derive from the Hebrew word expressing bitter flavor. It's also the ancient Roman name for cough syrup. Another form of the herb -- common or white Horehound Marrubium vulgare -- is used in making old fashioned hard candy known for its bittersweet taste.

    Before consuming any herbal product for medicinal purposes, be sure to consult your physician.

    10.50

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  • Salvia africana-lutea 'Kirstenbosch'

    (Kirstenbosch Golden Sage) This clone of the durable and tough Golden Sage was selected at Kirstenbosch, the famous South African Botanic Garden. It is more vigorous than Golden Sage and often grows larger.

    Young plants are dense with elliptical, woolly gray-green leaves. The 2-to-4-inch floral stems carry whorls of 1-to-2-inch-long bright yellow flowers that age to rusty orange. The flowers look somewhat withered when mature, making them both an attraction and an oddity. This culinary and medicinal plant blooms from early spring sporadically through fall.

    Shear back by 1/3 in late spring to encourage new basal growth. When established, it needs deep watering at least once a month in soil that is, preferably, sandy and loose.

    This is a tough, fragrant, resilient beauty. Similar to many plants from the Cape region, it needs fertilizer applied sparingly and acid-to-neutral, well-drained soil.
    10.50
  • Salvia apiana x clevelandii 'Vicki Romo'

    (Vicki Romo White Sage) A hybrid of two, top Californian natives, Vicki Romo has foliage very much like that of White Sage (Salvia apiana) and darker lavender flowers than those of Cleveland Sage (Salvia clevelandii).

    Vicki Romo is from the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden where it was named after a graduate student intern. It has bigger, more pronounced flowers that bloom from spring into summer and is a bit less fragrant than its parent plants. Similar to White Sage, it can grow up to 5 feet tall. However, unlike both of its smaller parents, Vicki Romo can spread up to 5 feet. This makes it economical as a border screen or tall groundcover.

    This heat-resistant, drought-tolerant shrub requires good drainage and full sun. Both parents have a dry-summer/wet-winter range and often grow on rocky, south slopes.  Little water is needed once it becomes established.

    We love everything about this sage, especially how it attractst honeybees and hummingbirds but not deer.

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  • Salvia brandegeei x munzii 'Pacific Blue'

    (Pacific Blue Sage) Whorls of deep lavender-blue flowers contrast brightly against the dark maroon stems of this likely hybrid of Salvia brandegeei and Salvia munzii.

    The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden discovered Pacific Blue as a surprise cross near one of its S. brandegeei, a native of Santa Rosa Island in Santa Barbara's Channel Islands as well as Baja, Mexico.

    Pacific Blue is a well-branched, vigorous shrub. It tolerates heat and handles drought due to the moisture-conserving, fuzzy white undersides of its fragrant, dark green leaves.

    Honeybees and hummingbirds love this long-blooming sage. Pacific Blue even grows in clay soil as long as there is good drainage, such as on a slope. Give it full sun and average watering based on local conditions.

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  • Salvia canariensis f. candidissimum

    (Wooly Canary Island Sage) The pale magenta, parrot-beak flowers of this sage, supported by deeper magenta bracts, heat up the landscape. But when you get close, it may be the velvety texture of the foliage that makes you sigh.

    This fragrant, heat-tolerant Canary Island Sage has dense white hairs covering the underside of its leaves. The hairs help the drought-resistant foliage to conserve moisture. However, Wooly Canary Island Sage appreciates average watering based on your local conditions.

    Although a shrub at the warmer end of its USDA cold hardiness range, Wooly Canary Island Sage is an herbaceous perennial in its cooler zones. Either way, it is long blooming.

    Due to its height and dramatic good looks, this sage can take center stage in a sunny Salvia garden or act as a tall screen. Honeybees love it.

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  • Salvia chamaedryoides x ‘Marine Blue’

    (Marine Blue Sage) The name and origin of this fine cultivar has long been in dispute. It may be a clone or hybrid of the Mexican plant Salvia chamaedryoidesvar.isochroma. It is one of the prettiest, strongest sages we grow.

    Our Marine Blue Sage blooms almost nonstop, producing long spikes of small dark blue flowers marked with bee lines that help lead pollinators into the blossoms. The leaves are small, wrinkled and wooly with silver-white tops and greenish undersides. In a sunny spot, the plant forms a tidy mat of ground cover 18 inches tall and 36 inches wide.

    Grow Marine Blue Sage in hot, somewhat dry locations where you can see it up close. It's guaranteed to attract the eye. We predict that the popularity of this drought-resistant sage will increase as it becomes more widely known.

    10.50
  • Salvia desoleana

    (Sardinian Sage) This is another must-have Salvia for mild, Mediterraneon climate gardens. It has elegant foliage and lovely, rosy lavender flowers. Sardinian Sage spreads non-invasively as an herbaceous perennial and almost never stops blooming for us on the coast of Northern California.

    When in bloom, this full sun plant is a magnet for honeybees. Historically, it has also attracted followers of folk remedies and has been used in Europe to ease fevers.

    Similar to but denser than Salvia sclarea (Clary Sage), Sardinian Sage is native to the island of Sardinia and was one of our top 10 new plants for 2010. Although our photo doesn't do it justice, this is a lovely plant that looks great in perennial borders, dry gardens and containers.

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  • Salvia greggii 'Lowrey's Peach'

    (Lowrey's Peach Autumn Sage) No other Salvia has a color like this: a warm, rosy orange with a pastel peach skirt and bright yellow throat. Wow! This is our best pastel orange Autumn Sage not only due to its blossoms but also it's compact branching habit and glossy foliage.

    Hardy to at least 10 degrees F, Lowrey's Peach is also heat tolerant and can be expected to bloom from spring into fall. It would look lovely in a mixed planter or perennial border with Autumn Sages featuring red, pink and yellow blossoms. Or mass it for a spectacular groundcover. It loves full sun, but tolerates a bit of shade.

    10.50
  • Salvia greggii 'Navajo Purple'

    (Navajo Autumn Sage) Even a hint of blue is unusual among Autumn Sage flowers. Salvia greggii 'Navajo Purple' is a rarity due to its magenta-purple blossoms, which hint at natural hybridization including a mystery parent in the blue range, such as Salvia lycioides.

    Sages in the Salvia greggii group are native to the American Southwest and Mexico. They hybridize naturally with other Southwestern species, which explains the purples in their group.

    You can expect heat, cold and drought tolerance from Navajo Autumn Sage, as well as fragrant foliage. Visits from honeybees and hummingbirds are also characteristic. But similar to so many mint family (Lamiaceae) members, Autumn Sages contain chemicals that aren't tasty to deer.

    Western pioneer and plant explorer Josiah Gregg introduced Autumn Sage to horticulture in 1846. He collected it in the Southwest while working as a scout and Spanish interpreter for the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War.

    Although first cultivated in 1885 and a long-time staple in Texas gardens, Salvia greggii didn't show up in plant nurseries until about 100 years later. Now Autumn Sage and its hybrids are among the most popular types of Salvia for home gardens.

    10.50
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  • Salvia leucophylla 'Amethyst Bluffs'

    (Giant Spreading California Purple Sage or Giant Spreading California Gray Sage) Looking for a large scale ground cover? One for poor soil, little to no water, howling winds or seriously hot sun? This Salvia leucophylla variety, collected in the wild and close to the ocean at Point Sal near Santa Barbara, may just be the plant for you.

    Commonly known as Purple Sage for its flowers or Gray Sage for its silvery, velvety, foliage, Salvia leucophylla is a hardy Salvia species that is highly regarded for attracting small wildlife including songbirds, which love its tasty seed and the insects it attracts.

    Amethyst Bluffs, which can grow up to 10 feet tall and 15 feet wide, is the largest clone of this species in cultivation. In most gardens it can be counted on being 6 feet tall and wide. It has dark pinkish-purple flowers that bloom in spring.

    Amethyst Bluffs was collected in the wild, close to the ocean at Point Sal near Santa Barbara. It has a wider gardening range than the species, being cold hardy to at least 15 degrees F, it is worth trying in some Zone 7 areas. All this tough & hardy sage requires is well-drained soil and full sun.

    We would use this shrub in the landscape even if it didn't flower, because its long, fuzzy, gray-green leaves with serrated edges are so appealing. Aside from being a great large-scale ground cover that takes minimal care, it is a handsome screen or border plant for dry gardens.

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  • Salvia mellifera

    (Black Sage or Honey Sage) One of the most common and fragrant native shrubs in Central California's Coast Ranges, Black Sage is ideal for dry gardens. Admirably adaptable, it tolerates soils ranging from the most marginal to ones that are loamy and provide excellent drainage. It is a survivor.

    The elegant long wrinkled leaves are powerfully aromatic. Its small white-to-lavender whorls of flowers, which bloom from summer into fall, are vital sources of nectar and pollen for honeybees and hummingbirds.

    Use this garden workhorse for a large scale groundcover, as a background planting for other more dramatic Salvias or as a vital plant in a wildlife garden. It likes full sun and is heat tolerant.

    Our strain is originally from seed collected at the far northern edge of its range, and is hardy to at least 20 degrees F.

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  • Salvia microphylla var. neurepia

    (Big Leaf Mountain Sage) Nothing is little about this plant even though "microphylla" means "little leaf." The rough, wrinkly leaves are often 3 inches long and almost 2 inches wide. The pinkish-orange flowers are also large and bloom spring to fall.

    Harvard University botanist and professor Merritt Lyndon Fernald (1873-1950) was the first person to publish a description of the plant, which he named Salvia neurepia. It was later reclassified as a Mountain Sage. Fernald authored a number of scholarly works, including a monograph on Mexican and Central American Salvia.

    At 48 inches tall with a spread of 48 inches or more, this pretty sage makes a long-blooming hedge or tall groundcover. It is also a good choice for a shrubby border. Give it full sun to partial shade and regular watering. Although it isn't particular about soil type, good drainage is necessary. Hummingbirds love it, but deer do not.

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  • Salvia pachyphylla 'Blue Flame'

    (Giant Purple Desert Sage) It’s best to plant this flamboyant native of the Southwest in spring or summer. However, once established, it tolerates winters from USDA Zones 5 to 9. Purple tubular flowers and burgundy bracts flare up its 10-inch flower spikes like flames on this softly rounded shrub.

    Fragrant, drought resistant and heat tolerant, this is a sage that isn’t particular about soils as long as they drain well. Give this shrub lots of sunshine and little water for best performance.  We have learned by experience that this species grows best where there are definite seasons, and where the winters are not particularly wet.  They thrive in Denver, and languish in Los Angeles.

    Blue Flame’s improbably lush flowers are offset by mid-green foliage. It does well in dry, gravelly gardens as a groundcover, border or pathway edging and is just right for a native garden focusing on the Southwest or a wide variety of American native species.

    Expect Blue Flame to grow up to 36 inches tall and 24 inches wide and to flower from summer to fall. Expect to fall in love with it; certainly butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds do. Luckily, deer avoid it.

    Thanks for the beautiful photo go to high-altitude plant expert Panayoti Kelaidis, senior curator and director of outreach at Denver Botanic Gardens.

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  • Salvia taraxacifolia

    (Dandelion Leaf Sage) Brush or bruise the basal foliage of this Moroccan Salvia and it exudes a citrusy fragrance. Petite and heat tolerant, this is a sturdy, adaptable groundcover.

    The late James C. Archibald of the Scottish Rock and Garden Club once described the plant's homeland -- the Atlas Mountains of Morocco -- as being "high, barren" and "snow-streaked." He collected specimens there in 1962 and noted that the plant retains its dwarf-like height better in dry, poor, gravelly soil.

    Taraxacifolia refers to the dandelion-like appearance of the plant's foliage. However, this is a non-invasive sage. Forming tight, low rosettes that spread gently, the gray-green, lyre-shaped leaves are heavily indented. The foot-tall spikes of large, soft, pink flowers bloom from summer into fall. 

    This perennial withstands light foot traffic, which is useful in a groundcover. Heat resistant and drought tolerant, it thrives in full sun and dry gardens with well-drained soil. However, it can also handle average watering based on local conditions. Dandelion Leaf Sage grows well in USDA Zones 7 to 11 where it is evergreen down to 20 degrees F and hardy to 10 degrees F if winter mulched.

    We like this easy-to-grow, uncommon sage and are glad that deer do not.

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  • 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.

    Long-blooming spikes of lavender-colored flowers rise a foot above the mat of fine, fragrant, gray-green foliage that is perennial in warm-winter areas.

    Honeybees and hummingbirds love this hybrid, which was selected in 1989 at the University of California Botanic Garden by California native plant specialist Roger Raiche. Berkeley artist and gardener Marcia Donahue named it.

    Bee's Bliss is likely a cross of California Purple Sage (Salvia leucophylla), which is also called California Gray Sage, with either Creeping Sage (Salvia sonomensis ) or Cleveland Sage (Salvia clevelandii).

    This is a superior, drought-resistant groundcover requiring full sun, good drainage and little-to-no water other than what it receives from nature. It's ideal for slopes and native-plant gardens. Claims of cold hardiness vary, but 18 degrees F is a safe bet even though lower temperatures have been reported.

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  • 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).

    Celestial Blue has lovely royal blue flowers and purple bracts. Sun-loving, heat tolerant and drought resistant, it was discovered at Las Pilitas Native Plant Nursery in Southern California.

    This fragrant sage blooms and blooms throughout the heat of summer. Tolerant of everything but wet feet during summer, it withstands winter temperatures as low as 10 degrees F for a short time as well as lows in the 20-degree range for days. 

    Use this pretty plant in tough soils, on banks and in areas where watering is difficult or undesirable.  Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds love it, but deer leave it alone. This cultivar is one of the best Salvias for cut-flower arrangements.

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  • Salvia x 'Gayle Nielson'

    (Gayle Nielson Hybrid Sage) Whorl-like clusters of violet-blue flowers on slender stems as well as its height and width indicate that Gayle Nielson Hybrid Sage is related to some form of Salvia clevelandii.

    However, the rest of this graceful plant’s parentage is uncertain. It was collected in the Tucson, Arizona, garden of Carl and Gayle Nielson where a number of California native sages were growing. Other possible parent species include Salvia dorrii and Salvia mohavensis. To increase the sense of mystery surrounding this tough plant, it is sometimes referred to as either Carl Nielson Hybrid Sage or Salvia x 'Trident'.

    Reddish-purple bracts support the delicate-looking flowers, which bloom winter into spring. The fragrant, olive-green leaves are larger than those of Salvia clevelandii.

    Similar to most California native sages, this shrub is heat and drought tolerant. It grows well in USDA Zones 8 to 9 and, despite its desert connections, is adaptable to cooler coastal life. Whereas honeybees and hummingbirds enjoy its nectar, deer leave it alone.

    Gayle Nielson Hybrid Sage likes full sun and needs little summer watering after becoming established. Plant it in soil with excellent drainage. Although this is a full-sun plant, it appreciates a bit of partial shade. In dry or native landscapes, it works well as a screen, shrub border or tall groundcover.

    10.50
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New at FBTS: Butterflies Love Perennial Echeandia Texensis

New at FBTS: Butterflies Love Perennial Echeandia Texensis


Category: New at FBTS
Posted: Sep 7, 2015 08:55 AM
Synopsis: It isn't surprising that the golden flowers of the drought-resistant, perennial Texas Craglily (Echeandia texensis) are tops for attracting butterflies. The plant was first discovered on Green Island in Laguna Madre, which is at the southernmost tip of Texas. The area is part of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, which is home to 300 butterfly species. Texas Craglily is an adaptable plant that grows well both in dry and somewhat damp conditions and from California to the Southeast. But it is a rare species that may be threatened by land development and the U.S./Mexico border fence.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly

Fragrance as well as color attracts butterflies. However, they don't have noses. Instead, butterflies smell and taste with their antennas and feet. Here are some ways to attract them:


  1. Plant sages with platform-type blossoms. Unlike hummingbirds, butterflies can't hover while feeding. Sages with large lower lips and short nectar tubes, such as those in the Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (S. microphylla) group, give butterflies a place to stand while gathering nectar and pollen.
  2. Provide lots of color and sunlight. Butterflies need to stay warm and are attracted to a broad range of flower colors.
  3. Include native species. Insects and plants have co-evolved to meet each other's needs within their native regions. Butterflies prefer feeding on their local, native perennials and shrubs.
  4. Grow Caterpillar Host Plants. Butterflies need baby nurseries. Some are extremely picky about the plants on which they lay eggs, such as Monarchs, which need milkweeds (Asclepias spp.). The North American Butterfly Association is a good source of information about host plants.
  5. Don't use pesticides. They kill many beneficial insects, including butterflies.
  6. Keep your garden blooming. Plant a variety of Salvias based on bloom times as well as color and shape. Many flower from spring into fall. Others are prolific fountains of nectar for shorter seasons.
  7. Provide puddles. Butterflies stay hydrated by splashing in puddles located in sunny spots on the ground or raised up in shallow birdbaths. Include rocks for basking; butterflies need to dry and warm their wings.
  8. Plant butterfly gardens near shelter. Butterflies need to be able to flee into trees, shrubbery and woodpiles when predators appear and when windy or rainy weather occurs.
  9. Supplement plantings with rotten fruit. Some butterflies love the juice of rotting fruit even more than nectar.
  10. Read more. Our Everything Salvias Blog offers a number of articles about butterflies.

Hey, got any greens?

If you live in suburbs or rural areas where deer plunder gardens, Salvias (sages) can be part of your plan for discouraging these hungry visitors. Here are some tips.


  1. Mask smells that deer like with aromatic sages. Deer and other members of the Cervidae family, such as elk, mostly leave Salvias alone. One theory is that they don't like the fragrance or taste of sage chemicals. Strategically planting sages near vegetable gardens or fruit trees -- elixir to deer -- may prevent consumption.
  2. Grow hedges including Salvias. Prickly hedges, including hairy-leafed Salvias and exceptionally thorny roses, can discourage deer from entering your yard. They don't like the mouth-feel of those textures. Tall hedges also hide strawberry beds and other yummy plantings from view.
  3. Don't overplant one species. Grow a variety of Salvias in case local deer take an unexpected liking to one species of sage.
  4. Fence deer out. Install electric fences or 8-foot wood or metal fences around particularly vulnerable areas. Make sure electric fencing is turned on during the peak feeding seasons of early spring and late fall.
  5. Use motion-detection tools. Install outdoor lighting that is activated by movement.
  6. Let the dogs out. Deer are especially wary of large dogs.
  7. Surround and cover. Wrap tough plastic around the trunks of trees that have tasty bark and cover foliage with bird netting when trees and bushes are fruiting.
  8. Change yard ornaments periodically. Objects such as scarecrows, statuary and cordons of monofilament string with strips of shiny foil attached cause deer to shy away.
  9. Make safe choices. Research repellants you plan to use to make sure they aren't poisonous.
  10. Be flexible and ready to share a bit. There is no such thing as a completely deer-resistant garden.
It's dry out there

Xeric plants are excellent for water conservation. They grow well in dry gardens with little to no supplemental watering once established. In fact, overwatering can harm these plants, which are native to dry environments such as deserts and chaparral.

At Flowers by the Sea, we identify all xeric plants with a blue plant marker that warns against overwatering. Here are some tips for growing and understanding our xeric, or blue tag, plants:

1) In a humid region, you may find it difficult to grow plants native to semi-arid and arid environments. Yet xeric plants may succeed if you have a persistently dry area, such as under a roof overhang or in the shelter of a tree.

2) Xeric plants are excellent for locations far from garden hoses, such as along sidewalks -- areas often referred to as "hellstrips."

3) Shipping is hard on xeric plants, which suffer from confinement in small containers as well as boxes. You may see some mold, spots on leaves or withered foliage when they arrive. But xeric plants perk up with proper care while hardening off in partial shade before planting.

4) When amending soil before planting, remember that xeric plants not only need excellent drainage but also flower better in low fertility soil. Fertilize sparingly and use a mix with more phosphorous than nitrogen to encourage flowering and discourage lax overgrowth of foliage.

5) Organic matter, such as compost, is an excellent soil amendment for xeric plants, because it keeps their roots healthy by improving aeration and drainage.

6) When your xeric plants are established, water infrequently to encourage deep root growth and to avoid fungal problems. However, it's a good idea to gently spray dust off foliage about once a week.