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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 sp. from Szechuan

    (Bicolor Szechuan Sage) Cold hardy Chinese Salvias are a large and confusing group when it comes to scientific nomenclature. Identification for naming is expensive and difficult. That is why one of our most popular varieties doesn't have a scientific name!
    15.00
     


  • Salvia sp. from Yunnan

    (Mystery Yunnan Sage) Sometimes we come across a beauty that has no name. This lovely species from China's Yunnan province is an excellent example. Aside from lacking scientific and common names, it arrived here as an imported seed with little information about how the plant was discovered.

    12.50
     


  • Salvia spathacea

    (Hummingbird Sage or Pitcher Sage) No sage we grow is more attractive to hummingbirds than this one. Spectacular in all ways, it is one of our favorite Salvias with its fragrant, evergreen foliage and jewel-like flowers and bracts.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia spathacea 'Avis Keedy'

    (Yellow Hummingbird Sage or Yellow Pitcher Sage) The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden introduced this rare yellow variety of fragrant Hummingbird Sage. Similar to other varieties of this species, Avis Keedy is alluring to butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds.

    11.50
     


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  • Salvia spathacea 'Cerro Alto'

    (Apricot Hummingbird Sage or Cerro Alto Pitcher Sage) Large clusters of warm, apricot-colored blossoms top the tall, thick flower spikes of this sage. It is named after a peak in the mountains behind the crashing waters of Big Sur on California's Central Coast.

    11.50
     


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  • 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
     


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  • Salvia spathacea 'Las Pilitas'

    (Little Hummingbird Sage or Pitcher Sage) At one-fourth to one-half the size of our other Hummingbird Sages, this is the smallest variety of Salvia spathacea that we grow.

    11.50
     


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  • Salvia spathacea 'Powerline Pink'

    (Giant Hummingbird Sage or Pitcher Sage) Powerline Pink is the largest variety of Salvia spathacea that we grow. Its large, dark pink flowers are surrounded by bracts so furry that they look silvery.

    11.50
     


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  • Salvia spathacea 'Topanga'

    (Topanga Hummingbird Sage or Pitcher Sage) Rich pink flowers surrounded by fuzzy, burgundy and green bracts are two of the reasons why this is one of our favorite kinds of Hummingbird Sage. We also love its vigorous, wide-spreading growth.
    11.50
     


    Special Order Plant
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  • Salvia spathacea 'Yellow"

    (Yellow Hummingbird Sage or Yellow Pitcher Sage) A rare yellow Salvia spathacea discovered in an oak woodland by Santa Barbara Botanic Garden volunteer Avis Keedy produces the seedlings for these vigorous sages.

    11.50
     


    Special Order Plant
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  • Salvia stepposa

    (Siberian Sage) Deep violet flowers surrounded by burgundy bracts form a handsome contrast with the pebbly, mint green foliage of this drought-resistant sage. It comes from the Central Asian steppe, which is similar in climate and geography to America’s high plains.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia stolonifera

    (Creeping Mexican Sage) Thick, heavily textured and nearly round, the foliage of this gently creeping perennial is as showy as its tall spikes of large orange flowers. This is a water-loving species from Oaxaca, Mexico.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia summa

    (Supreme Sage) Neon pink flowers abound from spring through summer on this small, mounding, rock loving sage that is native to partially shaded limestone cliffs in parts of Texas and New Mexico. Grow it as a speciman plant in the rock garden, or with along with other native Southwestern species with similar cultural requirements.

    12.50
     


  • Salvia texana

    (Texas Blue Sage) This is a cutie and a tough customer once established. It even grows well in caliche soils. Although Salvia texana typically blooms only during spring in Texas, it has a longer season stretching into fall up north.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia tingitana

    (Mauretania Tingitana Sage) Native to Northern Africa and Saudi Arabia, this sage gets by on little water. and has a long history of cultivation going back 400 years. It wove throughout various countries in the Middle East and North Africa before arriving in Europe in the 1700s and was first described scientifically in 1777.

    11.50
     


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

    (Romanian Sage) Here's a great selection for mixed Salvia borders in zones with colder winters. This herbaceous perennial features deep violet flowers in large whorls atop tall, branched spikes.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia trijuga

    (san ye shu wei cao) So what do all those Pinyin words mean in this sage’s common name? We’ll give you an answer to the best of our ability in a minute. Meanwhile, we need to note that this medicinal Asian sage has handsome foliage and deep violet flowers.

    12.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia uliginosa

    (Bog Sage) Highly adaptable, Salvia uliginosa is ideal for the beginning sage gardener. It isn't fussy about soil type, sun exposure, drainage or frequency of watering.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia uliginosa ‘Ballon Azul’

    (Dwarf Bog Sage) Intense sky blue flowers with white beelines are set against mid-green foliage in this dwarf Bog Sage that is about half as tall and wide as its parent species when in bloom.

    10.50
     


  • 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 verbenacea

    (Wild Sage) Toothed and attractively wrinkled, the gray-green, basal foliage of Wild Sage contrasts prettily with deep lavender-to-purple flowers supported by grassy green bracts. This cold-hardy sage is native to northern Africa and parts of Asia and Europe.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia verticillata

    (Lilac Sage) We try not to brag too much, but this is our own variety of Salvia verticillata from home-grown seed, and we think it is spectacular. Butterflies and honeybees also are in love with this long-blooming perennial beauty.

    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 viscosa

    (Mid-East Sage) Native to the mountains shared by Israel and Lebanon, this tidy sage is drought resistant, heat tolerant and long blooming. Its basal foliage rises up and spreads only about 18 inches, but it has long flower spikes.

    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 '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 Bright Eyes'

    (Elk Bright Eyes Sage) Dark green and red calyxes support the raspberry-red flowers of Salvia x 'Elk Bright Eyes'. The pink throats of the blossoms are topped with white beelines, or eyes.  This is a unique and eyecatching color.

    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 Chantily Lace'

    (Elk Chantily Lace Jame Sage) What color are the flowers of this FBTS introduction?  Lavender? Periwinkle? Taffy?  Yes to all for this hard to describe but easy to love plant.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • 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
     


  • Salvia x 'Elk Peach Flambe'

    (Elk Peach Flambe Sage) Pale pink-to-peach edges surround the petals of Salvia x 'Elk Peach Flambe' like hints of petticoats. The deep maroon calyxes holding the flowers add drama to this small sage.

    10.50
     


    New!


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