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7 Anise Leaf Sage varieties we love

7 Anise Leaf Sage varieties we love

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Synopsis: Anise Leaf Sage, Salvia guaranitica varieties, are hardy herbaceous perennials native to Argentina. They also are magnets to hummingbirds.  Which ones are the best growers?  What colors are they?  Here is a simple guide to this lovely Sage.
Where would we be without Anise Scented Sage?

A favorite of gardeners and hummingbirds alike, this species, Salvia guaranitica, has been an important garden plant for decades. Native to a broad territory in Argentina and Brazil, it grows in the wild on the edge of streams, generally in partially shaded woodland clearings.

So rich soil and ample water are two of the prerequisites for growing Anise Scented Sage to perfection. In reality, it is a dependable plant in a wide range of soil, light and water conditions. In the hottest areas a bit of shade is called for, but these are reliable full sun plants almost everywhere. If they were difficult to grow they wouldn’t be so popular. So if you have not grown Anise Scented Sage, give it a try.

All true clones of this species have tuberous roots that remind me of Dahlias or Salvia patens. They are fleshy and somewhat brittle, and from my experience not easy to divide. But they do assist in overwintering a clump or a potted specimen in cold climate areas. Many gardeners in Northern climes lift a clump to overwinter in a basement. Perhaps one of our readers who does this will chime in!

The common name comes from the scent of the leaf. Try crushing a mature leaf and smelling it. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to post smells on our site?

There are a plethora of cultivars available. We grow seven, all different, all valuable for the garden. Full descriptions can be found by looking at our product descriptions below. Here are a few other details:

'Argentine Skies'
A large plant with sky blue flowers. We use it as a background for smaller varieties. Fast growing. Leaves are a nice bright yellowish green.

'Black & Blue'
Spectacular contrast between the deep blue corolla and the black calyx. Hummer magnet.

'Blue Ensign'
Smaller and less vigorous than most. Green calyx and Cambridge blue flowers. A good more-to-the-front-of-the-border plant.

'Omaha Gold'
A larger, rounder leaf with nice golden varigation. We believe it shows up best in quite a bit of shade. The dark blue flowers are a bonus. For us, it stays in leaf 12 months of the year.

'Purple Majesty'
Royal purple flowers. Catches the eye whenever it is in bloom. Blooms early for us, but reportedly later than many other types in cold regions.

'Sapphire Blue'
A most unique color, sapphire blue, on another smallish plant. Slower growing for us, but worth the effort (IMHO).

'Van Remsen'
Thank you Richard Dufrense, for introducing this variety. The King Kong of Salvia guaraniticas, reaching up to seven feet tall. More clumping than most, and with few to no tubers. Is it really a guaranitica?

Have fun with these this season. And please tell us if we have left out your favorite!