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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 microphylla 'Rosie O' Grady'

    (Rosie O'Grady Mountain Sage) Honeybees and hummingbirds love the large, bright pink flowers of Salvia microphylla 'Rosie O'Grady', a drought-resistant sage. Dense and fragrant, it's large, glossy green leaves are veined and have finely serrated edges. This is a lush choice for dry gardens.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Royal Bumble'

    (Royal Bumble Mountain Sage) Almost black, the stems and calyxes of this UK hybrid form a pleasing contrast with its medium-size scarlet flowers and glossy green leaves. Bloom time is spring to fall. This Mountain Sage suckers freely and forms a dense clump.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'San Carlos Festival'

    (St. Charles Day Mountain Sage) Especially in spring and fall, masses of red-violet flowers bloom amid the silvery green foliage of Salvia microphylla 'San Carlos Festival'. Put this one into the "must have" column.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Telegraph Avenue'

    (Telegraph Avenue Dwarf Mountain Sage) Here’s another member of the Turbulent Sixties Series of Southwestern Mountain Sages (Salvia microphylla), which developed from one of nature’s rebels – an accidental hybrid that Monterey Bay Nursery (MBN) named ‘Berzerkeley’ after finding it taking a stand in the nursery’s gravel paving.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Variegata'

    (Variegated Mirto de Montes Sage) Over the years, we have seen a number of variegated varieties of Mountain Sage. None have been as lovely and sturdy as this one, from botanist Brent Barnes of the University of California at Riverside.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Wild Watermelon'

    (Wild Watermelon Mountain Sage) Large, watermelon-pink flowers and the fruity fragrance of this long-blooming sage's mid-green, veined leaves make this Mountain Sage a treat to grow.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla var. neurepia

    (Big Leaf Mountain Sage) Nothing is little about this plant even though "microphylla" means "little leaf." The rough, wrinkly leaves are often 3 inches long and almost 2 inches wide. The pinkish-orange flowers are also large and bloom spring to fall.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia miniata

    (Misty Mountain Sage or Belize Sage) Salvia miniata combines luminous reddish-orange flowers and glossy, myrtle-green leaves that are different from any sage foliage we know.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia muelleri

    (Royal Purple Autumn Sage) Salvia muelleri is related both to Autumn Sage (S. greggii) and Mountain Sage (S. microphylla), which are closely related species.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia munzii

    (Munz's Sage) Densely branched and extremely fragrant, this drought-resistant shrub is named for botanist Philip Munz (1892-1974) of Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and Pomona College. It is native to northern Baja California and the coastal mountains of San Diego.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia myriantha

    (Mexican Many Flowered Sage) Blooming from late summer into winter, this Mexican cloud-forest native has so many flowers that they are difficult to count. The deep violet blossoms develop distinct, white beelines after opening.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia nana

    (Little Sage) if it were up to us, we would never have named this plant Little Sage. Although it is dainty, it is also one of the most fascinating species we grow. We particularly love its pebbly, oval leaves that are a shiny purple/green on top and a furry white below.

    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.

    10.50
     


  • 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 puberula 'El Butano'

    (El Butano Downy Sage) El Butano is a horticulturally rich area of Cumbres de Monterrey National Park in the mountains of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. El Butano Downy Sage was discovered in this area where it grows at elevations of 4,500 to 8,000 feet.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia puberula 'Nuevo Leon'

    (Nuevo Leon Downy Sage) From the high mountains of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. This unusual variety has very large flowers in loose clusters.  Early to bloom and more cold tolerant than other Downy Sage varieties, it is ideal for gardens on the edge of it's climatic adaptability.

    10.50
     


  • 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 purpurea

    (Autumn Purple Sage) Small but numerous, the flowers of this sage are a variable shade of light purple that is unlike any other we grow. Native to Southern Mexico and Guatemala, this shrub regularly grows up to 5 feet tall (or taller) and 4 feet wide.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia purpurea 'Lavender Lace'

    (Lavender Lace Autumn Purple Sage) Large, rich lavender-purple flowers cover this shrubby Sage from late fall into the spring.  It has great vigor, grows fast and is a favorite of the hummingbirds.  A "must have" for warm climate Salvia gardens.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia regla 'Huntington Gardens Form'

    (Orange Mountain Sage) This is the reddest of the Salvia regla species and the most floriferous. Side by side with the other varieties, this one is a bit taller and has darker flowers.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia regla 'Jame'

    (Jame Orange Mountain Sage) North Carolina plantsman Richard Dufresne collected this fine variety of Salvia regla near the village of Jame, in central Mexico where the western and eastern Sierra Madre mountains meet.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia regla 'Royal'

    (Orange Mountain Sage) Coahuila, Mexico, is home to many fine Salvias, including the smallest variety of Salvia regla that we grow. This one averages about 3 feet tall and wide.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia regla - Queretaro form

    (Great Orange Mountain Sage) Densely branched with small, dark green leaves, this variety of Salvia regla also features creamy orange flowers with white markings.

    11.50
     


  • 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 rubiginosa

    (Rosy Bract Sage) Sub-shrub salvias have both woody and soft, herbaceous growth. Rosy Bract Sage is a tidy, small leafed sub-shrub smothered with large clusters of 1/2-inch, violet-blue flowers and rosy red bracts. Its bracts deepen in color as the season proceeds.

    11.50
     


  • Salvia scordifolia

    (Scordy Sage) Little is known about this shrubby Ecuadorian native. We're not even sure it is from Ecuador! However, this is another sage that sells itself instantly when seen in bloom. The large clusters of rich, deep violet flowers bloom summer to fall, attracting honeybees and hummingbirds.

    11.50
     


  • Salvia semiatrata

    (Pine Mountain Sage) Small but numerous, violet and deep purple flowers surrounded by pink bracts are sprinkled throughout this well-branched,shrubby sage like confections. This is one of the showiest Salvias we grow.

    11.50
     




Take a Quick Look at a group of Salvias
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Reviews


Plant is doing well but not yet the showy plant described. Providing great late summer color and survived a week of 100+ temps without any attention.
Ms. linda allen
Sep 7, 2017