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Mexican Natives

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Mexican Natives

Mexico is a land of almost unimaginable plant diversity, including the highest concentration of native sages (Salvia spp.) in the world. It is home to nearly a third of the approximately 900 Salvia species worldwide.

The rich biodiversity of Mexico is due, in part, to its many types of climates from the deserts of Northern Mexico and Baja to the mountainous cloud forests at its southern boundary with Guatemala.

Salvia is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae). Although Lamiaceae is only the eighth largest plant family in Mexico, Salvia is one of the country's largest genuses. It is a genus with species fit for many climates, which is exactly what Mexico has. Consequently, Mexican sages grow beautifully in many parts of America. Some are even cold hardy to USDA Zone 5.

One factor that causes Mexico's climate to vary so much despite its closeness to the equator is the country's up-and-down geography; it is a land of many mountains and numerous changes in elevation. Some peaks -- such as the volcano Pico de Orizaba near the port of Veracruz in southeastern Mexico -- are topped with snow and glaciers year round even when their lower slopes are hot in summer.

Mexican native species range from drought-tolerant sages that grow best if given little water and lots of sunlight to ones that can take heat, but prefer partial shade and plentiful moisture. They tend to be long-blooming plants with a rainbow of flower colors.

Many Mexican sages are fragrant. On warm summer days, they lend a heady perfume to the landscape when planted near home entryways or as borders along walkways. They include low-growing groundcovers as well as plants so tall, wide and floriferous that a group planting forms a dramatic privacy screen.

Some of these plants are the source of age-old folk remedies and the focus of current medical research; their potential health benefits are modern day treasure. And here is one more thing that is golden about Mexican native sages: these lovely additions to home gardens require little fuss.

Plants


  • Salvia leucantha 'Variegata'

    (Variegated Mexican Bush Sage) Although slow growing and somewhat finicky, this sage is a must-have for lovers of unique foliage. It has small purple flowers and highly variegated leaves with stems that are slightly twisted. The overall look is compact and dense.

    12.50
     


  • Salvia leucantha 'White Mischief'

    (White Mischief Mexican Bush Sage) Profuse white blossoms and true white velvety bracts make the flowers of this South African hybrid a lovely choice for a wedding. In our experience, many of the plants sold as White Mischief are not the real thing. This tough, compact, long blooming sage is.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia lineata

    (Oaxaca Orange Wooly Sage) Tall, eye-catching spikes of dusky red-orange flowers that bloom from summer into fall make this one of our most impressive Salvias. Plus it's cold hardy into Zone 7.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia littae

    (Litta's Purple Sage) From the cloud forests of Oaxaca, Mexico, comes this lovely shade-loving sage. Large, fuzzy, purple-pink flowers clusters bloom from late fall into early spring. We have received reports that this subshrub is hardy in Zone 8 if mulched.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia longistyla

    (Red Michoacán Sage) No other Salvia has flowers that are such a deep blood red. The 3-to-4 inch long tubular blossoms of this shade-loving shrub are displayed in clusters at the ends of the stems, which have light green, textured leaves that are almost round.

    10.50
     


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  • Salvia madrensis

    (Forysthia Sage)  This statuesque perennial grows up to 10 feet tall, but spreads only 3 feet wide. It is a late bloomer from Mexico's Sierra Madre Oriental mountains where it grows at altitudes of 4,000 to 5,000 feet and tolerates temperatures down to 20 degrees F.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia madrensis 'Red Neck Girl'

    (Red Stem Forsythia Sage) The thick, square, red stems of this variety of Forsythia Sage make it conspicuously different from the species and from everything else in your garden. Its jointed stalks look a little like rhubarb gone mad!

    11.50
     


  • Salvia madrensis 'Silver Leaf'

    (Silver Leaf Forysthia Sage) It's the foliage of this clone that makes it so different from its parent plant. The leaves are a lovely silver and smaller than the green leaves of the species. However, they both have buttery yellow, Forsythia-like blossoms.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia melissodora

    (Grape Scented Sage) With the grape scent of its pale lavender blossoms and its long history of medicinal use, it is no surprise that this sage is so widely distributed.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia mexicana 'Blue Señorita'

    ('Blue Señorita' Mexican Sage) Smallish rich cobalt blue flowers come in large clusters on this unusually strong growing shrub.  From late summer through fall you and the hummingbirds will be delighted with this rare variety.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia mexicana 'Huntington Garden Form'

    (Huntington Garden Mexican Sage) In areas with mild end-of-year weather, this sage is a tower of nectar for hummingbirds. Large blue-to-purple flowers shaped like open parrot beaks reach out from dark calyxes. Their spikes stretch out horizontally and gently curve upward from the plant's mid-green foliage.

    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
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  • Salvia mexicana 'Kelsi'

    (Variegated Mexican Sage) Although its deep violet flowers are compelling, it is the foliage of this sage that is its greatest attraction. Kelsi is full of surprises, including asymmetrical leaves that make this variety easy to identify.

    15.00
     


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  • Salvia mexicana 'Limelight'

    (Limelight Mexican Sage) The chartreuse green calyxes and deep violet flowers of this sage form an electric combination that lights up the partial shade garden from late summer through fall. The light gray-green leaves are a handsome finishing touch.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia mexicana 'Lolly'

    (Lolly's Mexican Sage) Our variety of Salvia mexicana 'Lolly' is the tall kind growing up to about shoulder height. A shorter form is often called "Lollie Jackson" or "Lolly Jackson." Who or what the mysterious Lolly is remains unclear.

    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia mexicana 'Ocampo'

    (Ocampo Mexican Sage) Growing from 7 to 10 feet tall each year, this is the largest of our Mexican Sages. Yet due to its erect form, this sage only spreads 36 inches. It has large, deep violet flowers with almost black calyxes that rise up on tall spikes and dark green, heavily veined foliage.

    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
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  • Salvia mexicana 'Puerto de la Zorra'

    (Door of the Fox Mexican Sage) Purplish foliage contrasts attractively with the violet-to-purple flowers of this big sage, which grows 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Bloom time is autumn. This darkly dramatic Mexican Sage makes a particularly attractive entryway accent.

    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia mexicana 'Queretaro'

    (Querétaro Mexican Sage) Pump it up! Salvia mexicana 'Querétaro' is a Limelight Mexican Sage on steroids -- much larger all over and more vigorous. Honeybees and hummingbirds love its deep violet-blue flowers.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia mexicana 'Russell's Form'

    (Russell's Mexican Sage) Expect rapid, tall growth from this Salvia Mexicana . In the ground, Russell’s Mexican Sage can reach up to 10 feet tall and 5 feet wide, providing an effective screen of dark green, heart-shaped foliage. By late autumn it’s bursting with flowers.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia mexicana var. minor

    (Little Mexican Sage) This low-growing sage is a shrub in its warmest zones and a perennial in the cooler ones. It's just right for small spaces or tiny gardens. Short and compact, its flowers are similar to but smaller than those of S. mexicana 'Limelight'.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia mexicana x hispanica 'Byron Flint'

    (Byron's Mexican Sage) One of our favorite Mexican Sages, this large variety is reputed to be a hybrid between Salvia mexicana and S. hispanica -- a species of Chia Sage.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Belize Form'

    (Black Stem Mountain Sage) Intense cardinal red flowers, stiff black stems and large, ribbed, green leaves make this Salvia microphylla stand out. Its color and upright growth make it dramatic amid a group of soft, rounded Salvias.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Berkeley Barb'

    (Berkeley Barb Mountain Sage) California's Monterey Bay Nursery discovered a surprising Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla) seedling growing accidentally on its gravel floor one day.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Flower Child'

    (Flower Child Mountain Sage) At 18 to 24 inches tall, this is the smallest Salvia microphylla that we grow. Its common name is based on the plant's lavender-to-pink flowers, which are so abundant that they sometimes seem to outnumber the leaves.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Blast'

    (Blast Pink Mountain Sage) Long blooming Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Blast' produces prolific quantities of large, dusky salmon-pink blossoms and dense, mid-green foliage.

    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Blaze'

    (Heatwave Red Mountain Sage) Compact and small, this Mountain Sage is another fine groundcover for Southern California, the Southwest and Texas. Similar to Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Glimmer', it not only survives but thrives in extreme heat.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Brilliance'

    (Brilliance Pink Mountain Sage) Long blooming Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Brilliance' produces prolific quantities of deep reddish-pink, or cerise, blossoms along with dense, mid-green foliage.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Glare'

    (Glare White Mountain Sage) Long blooming Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Glare' produces prolific quantities of white blossoms with a subtle pinkish cast. It has dense, mid-green foliage.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Glimmer'

    (Glimmering White Mountain Sage) Heatwave Glimmer isn't a mirage. It is a Salvia microphylla that tolerates extremely hot climates as well as cooler regions. It doesn't just survive; it thrives in the heat of Southern California, the Southwest and Texas.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Glitter'

    (Glittering Pink Mountain Sage) Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla) handles hot climates as well as cooler coastal regions. It withstands the high temperatures of Southern California, the Southwest and Texas.

    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Radiance'

    (Radiance Bright Pink Mountain Sage) Long blooming Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Radiance' produces prolific quantities of hot pink blossoms along with dense, mid-green foliage.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Scorcher'

    (Scorching Pink Mountain Sage) Compact and small, this Mountain Sage is another fine groundcover for Southern California, the Southwest and Texas. Similar to Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Glimmer', it not only survives but thrives in extreme heat.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Sparkle'

    (Sparkle Pink Mountain Sage) Long blooming Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Sparkle' produces prolific quantities of deep mauve-pink blossoms with white throats and dense, mid-green foliage.

    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
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    New!
  • Salvia microphylla 'Honey Rose'

    (Honey Rose Mountain Sage) So dark that they almost seem black, the stems of this Mountain Sage add drama to flowers the color of creamy tomato soup. The lush, mid-green foliage has distinctive ribbing and is stiffly upright; it makes a strong statement when grouped with soft, rounded Salvias.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips'

    (Hot Lips Sage) What a winner for fascinating flowers! Hot Lips Sage has solid red, solid white and two-tone combinations all on the same plant and often at the same time.The variations are random. You might say that this shrubby sage is mixed-up, but its confused coloring makes it highly desirable.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Killer Cranberry'

    (Killer Cranberry Mountain Sage) Masses of magenta flowers on tall spikes lure honeybees and hummingbirds to the rich nectar of Salvia microphylla 'Killer Cranberry'. Its prolific flowers are a killer attraction for people too.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia microphylla 'La Trinidad Pink'

    (Trinity Mountain Sage) Heat and drought tolerant, this Salvia microphylla is native to Northeastern Mexico where summers are dry and temperatures can rise to more than 100 degrees F. It can survive winter temperatures down to 0 degrees.

    10.50
     




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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