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Deal! This is your opportunity to save big, and right in time for late-summer planting and fall growth. It's a one-time clearance of plants we love but no longer have room for in our crowded test fields, greenhouses and catalog. We have to prune our plant list so we can make room for new choices.

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Lepechinia hastata

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(Pink Hawaiian Pitchersage) Some botanists argue that this shrubby perennial, growing "wild" in many parts of the Hawaiian Islands, may indeed be a human introduction. No matter where it is from originally, it is a surprisingly hardy tropical looking Salvia relative that features large, felted gray arrow shaped (hastate) leaves and intense lavender rose tubular flowers.

Surprisingly adaptable - growing in full shade or full sun - we like it best in sunny or partialy shaded spots where it can be watered and enjoyed. It is basically a Fall bloomer, but often gives us a Spring show as well. Even out of flower it is an attractive and eye catching shrub.

Highly recommended and limited.

Thank you Forest & Kin Starr for the great photos!


Product rating
(1 reviews)  

In stock
2 item(s) available

Common name  
Island Pitcher Sage
USDA Zones  
9 - 11
Size (h/w/fh)  
Full sun to partial shade
Soil type  
Well drained & rich
Water needs  
Pot size  
3 1/2 inch deep pot
Container plant?  
Our price
$10.00 $5.00 On Sale On Sale


Quantity (2 available)

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


Full sun
Full sun
Partial shade
Partial shade

Growing Habit

9 - 11
9 - 11
36 inches tall
36 inches tall
36 inches wide
36 inches wide

Water Needs

Water loving
Water loving

Blooming Season

Fall blooming
Fall blooming
Summer blooming
Summer blooming


  • Artemisia lactiflora ‘Guizhou’

    (Guizhou White Mugwort) Long-blooming panicles of creamy white flowers on strong, dark maroon stems make this tall Mugwort a perfect choice for back of border. It grows well in full sun to light shade.

    The flower spikes of this hardy Chinese native are so strong that they don't require staking. The deep green foliage is infused with purple tones. It is deeply lobed and serrated, which gives it a lacy appearance.

    Although Guizhou White Mugwort appreciates average watering based on local conditions, it is drought resistant. This cold-hardy shrub is an excellent choice for frosty USDA Zone 4 winter temperatures.

    Stems of Guizhou White Mugwort are lovely in floral arrangements, but we mostly leave them alone in the garden to enjoy until first frost. Many herbalists use Mugwort species in teas and folk remedies.

  • Echium gentianoides

    (True Blue Echium) Hot pink buds become a profusion of gentian blue flowers from spring to fall in this spectacular member of the borage family. Its homeland is the Island of La Palma, one of the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa.

    Although heat- and drought-tolerant, True Blue Echium prefers the balmy summers of its mountainous homeland, the rocky slopes of the volcano La Caldera de Taburiente. Temperatures there approximate those of San Francisco during summer.

    The plant’s foliage is equally eye-catching with its red stems and blue-green leaves with cream stripes. It makes a dramatic background planting, groundcover, perennial border or dry garden standout.

    You can grow True Blue Echium in a container as well, but select a deep pot for its long roots and expect it to grow smaller than its in-ground size of 4 feet tall and wide. Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds are all attracted to this long blooming, true blue beauty.

  • Incarvillea arguta

    (Himalayan Gloxinia) Delicate, pink, trumpet blossoms with flared corollas top mid-green foliage on reddish-green stems. This tough, long-blooming plant is native to the Himalayas. Plant hunter Chris Chadwell collected our seeds in Nepal.

    Arguta refers to the sharply notched edges of this gloxinia's glossy leaves. The genus name Incarvillea honors the Jesuit missionary, Pierre Nicolas Le Chéron d'Incarville (1706-1757), whose plant exploration in China initiated the worldwide popularity of many Chinese plants, including gloxinias.

    The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies notes that d'Incarville was part of a group of advisors invited to China by Emperor Qianlong in 1739 to help cultivate European plants in his "Garden of Perfect Brightness." D'Incarville wasn't a formally trained botanist, but studied at the Paris Jardin du Roi for six months before leaving France for China, the country where he would eventually die.

    Although Himalayan Gloxinia can tolerate weak fertility, it grows best in rich garden soil with full sun to partial shade. A location with morning sun and afternoon shade is best in areas with hot summers. Incarvillea arguta thrives with average watering based on local rainfall and loves supplemental watering as long as its soil doesn't become soggy.

    Sometimes called Chinese Trumpet Flower, Himalayan Gloxinia is a reliable understory plant that also thrives in containers.

  • Lepechinia fragrans

    (Island Pitcher Sage) Native to shady canyons on the coast of Southern California's Channel Islands, this threatened species is highly desirable for its ruggedness, its aromatic furry leaves and its spectacular Winter and Spring flowers.

    Grow this shrub in rich soil with regular watering in partial shade for a breathtaking blooming every year - or grow it in any amount of shade with any amount of water in all but the very worst soil, and you will still be rewarded for your efforts.

    A California native that catches everyone's eye.  Highly recommended and limited.



  • Puya alpestris

    (Sapphire Tower) It must have been difficult to name this semi-arid desert plant from Chile and Argentina. Its long-blooming flowers are neither sapphire blue nor sapphire green; they are an intense combination of the two colors. Bright orange stamens provide a lively contrast.

    "Tower" is an apt description for the thick flower spike, which erupts from a rosette of slightly fleshy, bayonet-shaped leaves with spiny edges. The leaves are light green on top and silvery on the bottom. Their margins are lined with tiny hook-like thorns. Is it any wonder deer don't want to snack on it?

    Alpestris means alpine. One of the most cold-hardy Puyas, it is native to high, barren slopes. Their lanky flower spikes, topped with pinecone-like clusters of trumpet flowers and bracts, as yet unfurled, look like something out of science fiction or a Dr. Seuss story.

    But once Puyas bloom, all gawkiness is forgotten. Onlookers unfamiliar with the genus stare in disbelief; honeybees and hummingbirds dive in for a filling meal. As Britain's Sissinghurst Castle Garden says, when in bloom "Puya puts on its party clothes."

    When mature, the flower spike of Sapphire Tower rises about chest high, making the plant a good background accent in a dry garden. It also works well in containers. Wear gloves and protective clothing when weeding around it.

    Puyas are part of the Bromeliaceae family, which includes the subfamily known as the Bromeliads and includes pineapples. Although many sources refer to pineapples as being the only edible Bromeliad, that isn't accurate. In South America, the fleshy hearts of Puya flowers are frequently shredded -- similar to cabbage in cole slaw -- and eaten in salads.


  • Salvia apiana

    (Sacred White Sage) Bees, hummingbirds and spiritual blessings are all connected to this elegant shrubby sage, which is an important herb to indigenous Californians and deserves a place in every salvia garden. Stiff and almost fleshy, its leaves are tight rosettes of brilliant, silvery white. The flower spikes soar above the foliage, with hundreds of small white-to-lavender flowers that are one of the most important sources of pollen and nectar for pollinators. This Salvia is also the source of leaves for Native American smudge sticks used in purification rituals.

    Slow growing but not difficult, this California native requires good drainage and full sun. In its dry-summer/wet-winter range, it often grows on rocky, south slopes.  Very little water is needed once the plant becomes established.

    Our strain is well adapted to the moist environment of coastal Northern California, and performs well in a wide variety of climates.  We select only the whitest and most compact plants for vegetative propagation, insuring a tidy shrub that will not overgrow its space.

    Historically, Sacred White Sage has been used in medicinal teas and ground into flour for cooking.  We burn the leaves in our home to sweeten and purify the air.  This is a beautiful and powerful plant.

  • Salvia arborescens

    Whether you call it a shrub or a tree, Salvia arborscens rises up to an impressive 12 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Commonly known as Sage Tree, this Salvia grows well in full sun, but prefers partial shade.

    It is the size of this plant more than its floral display that is its main attraction. Cream to yellow and tiny, each flower has long, graceful anthers that extend far beyond its corolla. The foliage is bright green to forest green with lance-shaped leaves.

    Sage Tree works well as a screen or background planting In rich, well-drained soil. It also looks handsome in shrubby borders and is a good solution for moist areas of the yard. You can even grow it in a large container, but expect it to rise to a shorter height than it would in the ground. Deer mostly avoid Salvias, so this is one tree they likely won’t nibble on.

    Swedish botanist Erik Ekman collected Salvia arborscens during the 1920s in the Caribbean. Commonly known as Sage Tree, it was one of more than 2,000 species that he introduced to science during his 14 years of research in Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

    The Dominican Republic’s Partners for Rural Health organization notes that the leaves are used as a folk remedy for diarrhea. However, it warns that they may be dangerously narcotic. So don’t cook with this sage.

  • Salvia arizonica

    (Arizona Blue Sage) We are so impressed with this top-performing, drought-resistant ground cover that we have rated it best of class. Arizona Blue Sage is adaptable to a variety of shady conditions and blossoms so abundantly that it seems to have as many rich blue flowers as it has leaves. It is native to dry, shaded areas in mountain canyons in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

    This softly mounded plant also works well as a patio container plant. Although it grows well for us in dense shade, it does particularly well in spots where it receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Providing regular watering based on local conditions is best, but this hardy perennial tolerates shortages. It also can withstand a wide temperature range, including extreme summer heat and the chill of Zone 6 winters when mulched. It does not do well in very warm and humid areas unless in a very well drained location with good air circulation.

    Highly recommended.

  • Salvia cardiophylla

    (Heart Leaf Sage) From the rich plains of Northern Argentina comes this delicate looking sage with heart-shaped leaves and pale blue flowers so perfect they seem to be molded in wax. Although a slow grower that requires good garden culture, this Salvia is exquisite.

    Heart Leaf Sage needs fertile soil that is rich in humus and well drained. It grows well in the ground or in a container. Site it in a warm, sunny spot where it can receive partial shade and no reflected heat. Water and fertilize well. Be patient, as it seems to take a year or more to settle in and become robust. Then sit back and enjoy the lovely foliage and 1-inch-long, striped flowers.

    This perennial sage was found by Rolando Uría in Chaco, Argentina in 2009 and is one of the rarest Salvias in the world. It is quite slow to increase, but we highly recommend its beauty.

  • Salvia dorisiana

    (Fruit Scented Sage)  This native of Honduras has it all -- big, light-green leaves that are fuzzy soft and large magenta-pink flowers that smell intoxicating and bloom from winter into spring. Fruit Scented Sage is one of the strongest and most deliciously scented plants we have encountered. As with so many Salvias, it has a fascinating history.

    This tender perennial is not named after the daughter of a mythological Greek titan. Instead, it is named for Doris Zemurray Stone (1909-1994), an American archeologist and ethnographer who focused on Central America. She was the daughter of a different kind of titan, Russian immigrant Samuel Zemurray, who founded the United Fruit Company as well as a school for agricultural research in Honduras called Escuela Agricola Panamericana. Botanist Paul C. Standley, who named Salvia dorisiana, worked at the school. He introduced the plant to cultivation in the late 1940s.

    At our oceanside nursery, Salvia dorisiana over-winters with minimal cold damage and springs back with new growth from its lower stem in the years when we get a prolonged frost. It prefers full sun and rich, well-drained soil.

    Hummingbirds are drawn to Fruit Scented Sage, but deer don't favor it. Great in containers, this is a good container plant for patios if you live in an area colder than Zones 9 to 11.
  • 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.

  • 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.

    In addition to large clusters of canary yellow blossoms that light up the shade, Avis Keedy has bright green bracts and basal foliage. The flowers age to white, making for a soft blend of colors. The leaves are less lobed than those of the rose-colored species, but are still sticky and richly scented.

    This drought-tolerant, heat-resistant sage is adaptable to light conditions ranging from full sun to partial shade and grows particularly well in morning sun and afternoon shade. It blooms from winter into spring. As with other types of Salvia spathacea it likes the temperatures of USDA Zones 8 to 11.

    Avis Keedy can spread up to 3 feet across by underground runners in favorable conditions. It makes a fine groundcover in woodland, native and dry gardens where it also works well in perennial borders. Plant it in rich, well-drained soil and provide average watering based on local conditions.

    We sell out of this Hummingbird Sage in a heartbeat when we offer them in bloom at our local farmers' markets.



  • 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.

    The flowers darken as they age atop mid-green bracts. Cerro Alto's basal foliage mounds and spreads by underground runners. In favorable conditions, it can spread 3 feet across. The leaves are less lobed than those of the species, but are still sticky and richly scented.

    This drought-tolerant, heat-resistant sage is adaptable to light conditions ranging from full sun to partial shade and grows particularly well in morning sun and afternoon shade. It blooms from winter into spring. As with other types of Salvia spathacea it likes the temperatures of USDA Zones 8 to 11.

    This is the strongest growing, most vigorous clone of Hummingbird Sage we have seen. It makes a fine groundcover in woodland, native and dry gardens where it also works well in perennial borders and containers. Plant it in rich, well-drained soil and provide average watering based on local conditions.



  • 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.

    This is our best Hummingbird Sage for groundcover use. Originally collected in Los Angeles County's Topanga Canyon, it grows well in locations with partial to full shade. The flower spikes are tall with thick, jewel-colored clusters of blossoms. The foliage is sticky and delightfully fragrant.

    Characterized by mounding growth that spreads gently by underground runners, a single plant of Topanga Hummingbird Sage can grow up to 12 feet across. Similar to other varieties of the species, it is heat tolerant and drought resistant. Add up all Topanga's qualities and you have an excellent plant for weed control in dry shade.

    This shade-loving variety works well in woodland, native plant and dry gardens. Heat tolerant and drought resistant, it is also invaluable for attracting and feeding hummingbirds. During bloom time, which is winter to spring, Topanga and all our Salvia spathacea sell out in a heartbeat.
  • 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. Its light pink flowers are supported by handsome burgundy and olive green calyxes.

    A hybrid of Salvia dichlamys and S. microphylla, it has remarkable vigor and more flowers than either parent. The tall spikes and large, showy flowers are a hummingbird's dream.

    This full-sun sage is adaptable to many kinds of well-drained soil and grows well where winters are slightly chilly to mild. Give it an average amount of supplemental watering if local rainfall is insufficient.  Suitable as an annual in colder Zones, as it grows to a large size very rapidly.

    This new introduction is in its first season at our farm. However, we are so impressed with its strength, superior growth characteristics and good looks that we've decided to share it with you now.

    Joy Sage is an introduction from plant explorer Roland Uria, an agronomy professor at Argentina's University of Buenos Aires. Thanks, Professor Uria.

  • Stachys albotomentosa

    (Hidalgo or 7-UP Plant) I love to ask people what the smell of these leaves remind them of. Almost no one gets it on the first try, but when I say, "7 UP", their eyes light up, heads nod and the resounding answer is, "Yes!"

    This mounding small perennial is native to shady mountain canyons in Arizona and Texas.  The flowers glow on tall spikes above the furry, light green above, silvery underneath leaves.  This is an outstanding perennial for shady spots.  It can stand drought when established, but does very well with regular garden water.  The apricot-coral flowers age to a reddish tint, and are quite long lasting. This plant blooms for us April - October!

    This is another Salvia-like perennial that deserves much greater prominence in our gardens.

    Highly recommended.

  • Stachys coccinea

    (Red Betony) Heralding from the arid Southwest, this attractive and desirable perennial is one of the best hummingbird plants. Small pastel red/orange flowers make a real impact due to their numbers - this plant is often covered in flowers. And the furry leaves have a mild, fruity fragrance, especially in warm weather.

    This mounding small perennial is native to shady mountain canyons in Arizona and Texas.  This is a fine hardy perennial for shady spots, and even grows in full sun with adequate water.  It can stand drought when established, but does very well with regular garden water.  This plant blooms for us April - October!

    This is another Salvia-like perennial that deserves much greater prominence in our gardens.

    Highly recommended.  The hummers will thank you!



Average customer rating:
(1 reviews)  

1 Most useful customer reviews (see all reviews):
Will Fletcher
May 17, 2015
Second year growing this plant and it has over-Wintered our Pacific Northwest Winter including temps into the upper teens(16-18 for a season low) and it exploded into new growth in rich, moist, well-drained soil. I can share flowers soon as it's certainly going to flower in Spring this year.
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Salvias Down South: Salvia Success in Florida

Salvias Down South: Salvia Success in Florida

Category: Salvias Down South
Posted: Dec 26, 2012 07:22 PM
Synopsis: Florida is one of the wettest states in the nation, yet it is a fine place to grow Salvias if you select shade-tolerant, moisture-loving species and ones native to Florida. Gardeners who are accustomed to growing Salvias in a dry climate face a variety of surprises in Florida gardens. These include recurrent periods of drought, many cloudy days and soil that is so poor it has to be amended for Salvias.
I like Amstiad

Hummingbirds love Salvia (sage) nectar and are attracted to it by the bright colors of tubular sage blossoms. In particular, these little whirlybirds can easily spot flowers in the red spectrum, which is prevalent among sages. Here are some hummingbird gardening tips.

  1. Go tubular. Hummingbirds need tubular flowers that are easy for long, thin beaks to access.
  2. Provide lots of color. Think of yourself as a cafeteria manager who needs to provide many tempting choices in order to attract business. Red, pink, orange and purple sages are particularly powerful hummingbird magnets.
  3. Keep your garden blooming. Plant a variety of Salvias based not only on color but also a broad span of bloom times. Many flower from spring into fall. Others are prolific fountains of nectar for shorter seasons. Numerous winter-blooming species are available for areas that are home to hummingbirds year round.
  4. Grow sages native to the Western Hemisphere. Although hummingbirds will take advantage of many kinds of tubular flowering plants, these tiny birds are native to the Western Hemisphere and prefer flowering plants native to their half of the world.
  5. Select Salvia companion plants. Hummingbirds appreciate a variety of favorite tubular-flowered plants.
  6. Plant hummingbird gardens near cover. Trees and bushes surrounding feeding areas provide protection from predators and chilly, rainy weather.
  7. Don't use pesticides. Insects provide protein for hummingbirds, so don't kill these food sources.
  8. Provide water. Hummingbirds frolic in misters and shallow birdbaths.
  9. Supplement plantings with feeder tubes. Change the sugar water every few days and don't add food coloring. Keep the feeders clean, but don't scrub them with soaps or detergents. Here is more feeder care information.
  10. Read more. Our Everything Salvias Blog offers a number of articles about hummingbirds.
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.