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Herbaceous Perennials

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Herbaceous Perennials

Sometimes, when defining a plant, it is helpful not only to say what it is but also what it is not. Herbaceous perennials are not woody. They have soft stems and die to the ground annually, sending up shoots again in the new growing season.

Although perennial generally refers to any plant that returns for more than two growing seasons, it is a term that the horticulture industry -- and our catalog -- primarily applies to herbaceous species even though the deciduous, woody Salvias also refresh annually.

In contrast to herbaceous perennial Salvias, the woody kinds of sage are referred to as shrubs and subshrubs. Shrubs are plants with stems that are woody overall. Sub-shrub Salvias combine woody and tender herbaceous stems.

Some Salvia species, such as Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii), are evergreen shrubs -- the kind that are in a constant state of foliage loss and renewal -- in warmer USDA zones and subshrubs in cooler parts of their range. But true herbaceous perennial Salvias almost always die to ground at the end of their growing season. End of season depends on whether an herbaceous perennial is dormant in winter or dormant in summer as with winter-growing species originating in Mediterranean climates.

Flowers by the Sea grows many herbaceous Salvias in a rainbow of flower colors and a wide variety of bloom times, including cold-hardy species from America, Asia and Europe. Others come from warmer climates, such as Africa, the American South, Central and South America, Mexico, the Mediterranean and South Africa.

One major way in which care of herbaceous species differs from that of woody sages concerns clean up. Whereas woody sages are hard pruned at the beginning of their growing season, the spent foliage of herbaceous species is removed at the end of their season. Also, many herbaceous species can be encouraged to bloom twice if pruned mid-season.

Plants


  • Salvia pallida

    (Pale Sage) Powder blue flowers are cupped by lavender calyxes on this lovely yet little-used sage native to moist meadows in Argentina. It is a tall, narrow plant with delightful oval-shaped leaves with scalloped margins.

    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia patens 'Blue Angel'

    (Blue Angel Gentian Sage) Since the 1838 discovery of this herbaceous species from Central Mexico, Salvia patens has been a mainstay of the perennial garden. Blue Angel is one of the smallest of the full-sized varieties.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia patens 'Cambridge Blue'

    (Cambridge Blue Gentian Sage) Cambridge Blue is one of the most famous varieties of Salvia patens, which was discovered in Central Mexico in 1838. Its powder blue flowers are delightful and cooling in the landscape.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia patens 'Chilcombe'

    (Dorset Lavender Gentian Sage) Large, deep lavender flowers shaped like parrot beaks make Salvia patens 'Chilcombe' distinctive in the Gentian Sage group, which is dominated by true blues.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia patens 'Dot's Delight'

    (Dot's Delight Bicolor Gentian Sage) This sage turns heads, because its large, white and blue bicolored flowers make it a unique variety of Gentian Sage. Developed in the UK, Dot's Delight is smaller and less sun tolerant than other varieties of the species.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia patens 'Guanajuato'

    (Guanajuato Giant Gentian Sage) At 3 inches long, the flowers of this Gentian Sage are the largest of any we grow. Guanjuato Giant is also unique for its tall, upright growth and heavily textured foliage.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia patens 'Large Form'

    (Giant Gentian Sage) "Wow!" is what most people say when they see this large Gentian Sage from Central Mexico. Growing to 4 feet tall, it has long, graceful spikes of 3-inch deep, royal blue flowers that are highly visible and easily accessible to hummingbirds.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia patens 'Oxford Blue'

    (Oxford Blue Gentian Sage) Only Salvia patens 'Blue Angel' comes close to the hard-to-believe, rich gentian blue of this sage from Mexico. Oxford Blue also grows taller and spreads wider than Blue Angel.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia patens 'White Trophy'

    (White Trophy Gentian Sage) White Trophy loves partial shade and is the finest white Salvia patens available, with very large flowers that age to pale blue.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia patens ‘De flores gigantes’

    (Giant Gentian Sage)  What makes Salvia patens 'De Flores Gigantes' truly giant is the size of its true blue flowers. However, this variety from Argentina is tall as well.

    9.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia pennellii

    (Tamaulipas Sage) Deep purple flowers, strong stems and attractively textured, gray-green foliage make this sage useful in the drought-resistant Salvia garden. Rising up to 5 feet tall and spreading feet wide, it is a fine backdrop.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia pitcheri grandiflora

    (Big Pitcher Sage) As its scientific name indicates, this sage has very large flowers. They are almost two-tone, changing from deep violet to a light blue or white at their base where they are cupped by dusky purple calyxes.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia pratensis 'Indigo'

    (Indigo Meadow Sage) When massed, this European sage compels attention during summer with its upright, foot-long spikes of deep violet-blue flowers and hairy, gray-green, basal foliage.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia pratensis 'Lapis Lazuli'

    (Lapis Lazuli Meadow Sage) Ethereal, lilac-pink, parrot-shaped blossoms abound on the tall flower spikes of this Salvia pratensis cultivar. So don’t expect a blue as the name indicates, but do expect great beauty during summer bloom time.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia pratensis 'Proud Mary'

    (Bi-Color Meadow Sage or Meadow Clary Sage) Exceptionally cold tolerant, Salvia pratensis 'Proud Mary' is our own seed-grown strain of a plant identical to the patented S. pratensis 'Madeline'.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia pratensis 'Rose Rhapsody'

    (Meadow Sage or Meadow Clary Sage) Meadow Sage is widespread in Europe, where it grows among other perennials and grasses. We use this plant in herbaceous borders, in containers, or anywhere we need a bright floral display with strong, dark green foliage.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia pratensis 'Swan Lake'

    (White Meadow Sage) Whorls of pure white flowers shaped like parrot beaks rise on tall spikes from the wrinkly, basal foliage of Salvia pratensis 'Swan Lake'. The large, mid-green leaves have attractively serrated edges.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia przewalskii var. mandarinorum

    (Dan-shen Gansu) Growing into a large basal rosette of leaves measuring up to 3 feet across, Salvia przewalskii var. mandarinorum is known for its handsome foliage.

    12.50
     


  • Salvia pseudococcinea

    (False Tropical Sage) Sometimes plant naming is complicated. Such is the case with Salvia pseudococcinea, which is known by a number of scientific and common names. Sometimes it is called Salvia coccinea var. pseudococcinea.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia puberula x univerticillata

    (Rosebud Hybrid Sage) Cloud forest natives from Southern Mexico often have lush blossoms. That's true of the magenta pink flowers of Salvia puberula x univerticillata, which bloom from fall into winter.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia pulchella x involucrata

    (Rosebud Pink Hybrid Sage) Protective, magenta pink, leaf-like bracts surround the buds of Salvia pulchella x involucrata like a hug, bursting open and eventually falling away as the fuzzy flowers blossom.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia recognita

    (Turkish Cliff Sage) Spring into early summer, Turkish Cliff Sage produces erect, branching flower spikes 24 to 36 inches long that rise from basal foliage. They’re covered with whorls of pale pink blossoms with delicate white markings.

    11.50
     


  • Salvia regeliana

    (The Queen's Sage) Regal spikes of lavender-to-purple flowers give weight to this sage's common name. It provides a stately show of bloom during summer in USDA Zones 6 to 10. Cold hardy and heat tolerant, this impressive perennial comes from the mountains of Turkey.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia reptans

    (West Texas Grass Sage) Small clusters of true blue flowers are spaced widely along the grass-like stems of this airy West Texas mountain sage. Like so many American native plants, it is a key food source for honeybees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia reptans 'Autumn Sapphire'

    (Autumn Sapphire West Texas Grass Sage) Butterflies and honeybees particularly favor this West Texas mountain native. In contrast to the true blue flowers of regular Salvia reptans, this cultivar has deep blue blossoms and is remarkably compact.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia reptans 'Summer Skies'

    (Summer Skies West Texas Grass Sage) Butterflies and honeybees particularly favor this West Texas mountain native. In contrast to the true blue flowers of regular Salvia reptans, this cultivar has purple blossoms with cloud-like, lavender-to-white throats.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia rhinosina

    (Confused Argentine Sage) Similar in many ways to the indispensable garden favorites of the Anise Scented Sage (Salvia guaranitica spp.) group, this plant is a perfect companion for its better known cousin.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia ringens

    (Mount Olympus Sage) The deep violet and white flowers of Salvia ringens are eyecatching. Their wiry, branched spikes rise up to 5 feet tall from a dark green basal rosette.

    12.50
     


  • Salvia roemeriana

    (Cedar Sage) Scarlet flowers abound on this small, mounding, woodland sage that is native to Texas, Arizona and Northern Mexico. Grow it as a small scale groundcover or mix it with other shade-loving sages in a perennial border or along a path.

    9.50
     


  • Salvia rypara

    (River Sage) Native to partially shaded streamsides in Argentina and Bolivia, this is one of the few Salvia species that can tolerate wet soil.  It makes a fine filler plant in a group of other partial shade growers, its wirey thin stems sending up floral displays here and there, much to the gardener's delight.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia rypara x durifolia 'Elk'

    (Hybrid River Sage) This beautiful new plant is a FBTS hybrid between to rare South American species.  In growth and flower it is intermediate between the parents, and fast growing because of it's hybrid vigor.

    11.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia scabra

    (Coastal Blue Sage) Native from the sandy shores to brushy slopes of South Africa's East Cape, this sub-shrub sage is noted for growing easily in gardens elsewhere. Its lovely purplish-pink flowers have a subtle blue sparkle in bright sun and bloom spring to fall.
    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia schlechteri

    (Xobo Valley Sage) Although petite, the rare Xobo Valley Sage is eyecatching due to its lacy, bright green foliage and powder blue flowers. It's even possible that this long-blooming sage may have caught Nelson Mandela's eye as he grew up in the Wild Coast area of South Africa's Eastern Cape.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia sclarea 'Wild Form'

    (Clary or Clear Eye Sage or Eyebright) Pink-purple bracts and violet-purple flowers form a pastel cloud over the large, rumpled leaves of Clary Sage in summer. It is a towering beauty growing up to 5 feet tall. Sacred to some due to age-old use in herbal remedies, it is heavenly to look at.

    9.50
     


  • Salvia sclarea var turkestanica 'Piemont'

    (Italian Clary Sage) Clary Sages are well known for their use in folk remedies, aromatherapy and cosmetics. Glowing purple bracts frame the spectacular white blooms of this cultivar on 5-foot-tall spikes. It is a delight for honeybees, hummingbirds and butterflies.

    9.00
     


  • Salvia sinaloensis

    (Sinaloan Blue Sage) It's difficult to say which trait is more attractive about this sage -- the airy spikes of deep, true blue flowers or the fascinating spear-shaped foliage that varies from deep green to purple, forming a tidy mat.

    10.50
     




Take a Quick Look at a group of Salvias
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Reviews


Having recently received Cayman, I haven't yet seen it in bloom but am delighted to give a home to a plant that was on the brink of extinction. Since it may be short-lived, I'll keep it in a pot and try leaf cuttings in the winter. I like this com...
Ms. Robin Hoselton
Jun 3, 2017