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Salvia gesneriiflora 'Mole Poblano'


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  • Attracting Hummingbirds

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Salvia gesneriiflora 'Mole Poblano'

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Description

(Mexican Chocolate Scarlet Sage) Although this is a sister of Salvia gesneriiflora ‘Tequila’, it is shorter, more floriferous and has a longer bloom time from winter to spring. Similar to Tequila, Mole Poblano has bright red flowers and dark purple calyxes.

Botanists from Southern California’s Huntington Gardens were on a plant exploration trip to Mexico when they found Salvia gesneriiflora on the Volcan de Tequila in the Province of Jalisco.

One seedling that the researchers developed from the parent plant became the cultivar Tequila, which grows up to 10 feet tall and wide. They grew Mole Poblano – or Mexican Chocolate – from a second seedling. It reaches 6 feet tall and wide.

Mole Poblano is attractive as a screen or background planting. It works well in shrubby borders as well as dry gardens where honeybees and hummingbirds enjoy its rich nectar. It grows well in a variety of soil types as long as they drain well. Although it likes regular watering, it can get by on less.

Give this sage full sun in an area screened from wind. When heavily laden with blossoms, its woody branches break in heavy winds. By sheltering it, you also shelter hummingbirds that overwinter in your yard and need nectar.

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Common name  
Mexican Chocolate Scarlet Sage
USDA Zones  
8 - 11
Size (h/w/fh)  
72"+/72"+/72"+
Exposure  
Full sun to partial shade
Soil type  
Well drained
Water needs  
Average
Pot size  
3 1/2 inch deep pot
Our price
10.50

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

Exposure

Full sun
Full sun
Partial shade
Partial shade

Garden Uses

Container plant
Container plant

Growing Habit

8 - 11
8 - 11
72 inches tall+
72 inches tall+
72 inches wide+
72 inches wide+
Shrub
Shrub

Water Needs

Average water
Average water

Blooming Season

Spring blooming
Spring blooming
Winter blooming
Winter blooming

Wildlife

Honeybees
Honeybees
Deer resistant
Deer resistant
Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds

Colors

Salvias and their companion plants pop with color. Sweep your eyes from top to the bottom here for an impression of this plant's color combinations. The first row displays blossoms from primary to less dominant shades and includes any contrasting throat color. The second tier is the main hue of leaf-like bracts or calyxes supporting the flowers. Foliage (one or two colors) leafs out in the bottom row.
Primary color - Vivid Reddish Orange - RHS# 40A




Throat color - Strong Reddish Orange - RHS# 40C

Primary color - Vivid Reddish Orange - RHS# 40A




Bract color - Dark Purple
RHS# 79A

Leaf color - Strong Yellowish Green
RHS# 144B



Learn more about how we analyze plant colors
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Ready for some pruning?

Evergreen, woody Salvias

These are species that grow as woody shrubs and keep their foliage year round.

Pruning is both an art and a science. It takes practice, experience and learning from your mistakes to become a proficient pruner. The pruning information about this plant should be considered as a guideline for getting started. Your particular climate, soils, watering and fertility schedules, sun exposure, space requirements and weather are all factors that influence how and when you choose to prune. We’re providing a starting place for you, and over time you will learn the particularities of this plant in your garden. Don’t be afraid to get started – Salvias, in general, are quick to rebound if inappropriately pruned.

Deadheading – the removal of spent flowers, is a practice that will always benefit the plant’s health and appearance. This can be done at any time. Pruning involves removal of entire stems of spent growth. Becoming "spent" means that flowering stems stop blooming and begin going to seed.

Growing Season Pruning

At any time, you can perform cosmetic pruning -- shaping, controlling height and width and removing the oldest wood. Some gardeners periodically remove the oldest stems to encourage fresh new growth.


Dormant Season Pruning

Same as Growing Season.


Check the Views from the Garden section of our Everything Salvias Blog for videos that apply to this plant.

  • Salvia cinnabarina

    (Cinnabar Sage) Think of this plant as Pineapple Sage on steroids. It grows 5 feet tall and can be twice as wide in a good spot and bursts with large, furry, cinnabar red flowers all winter. Our overwintering hummingbirds adore it. This sage is hard to forget once you see it in full bloom.

    Coming from the cloud forests of Southern Mexico, this species is a great choice for woodland-style gardens where it can spread out and poke its long stems up here-and-there. In partial shade, it is a rambler that forms an attractive screen. Cinnabar Sage responds well to feeding and watering, but is not delicate. It is well worth growing if you live in a mild climate.

    11.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia confertiflora

    (Red Velvet Sage) Reaching up to 18 inches tall, the floral spikes of this exotic looking Salvia are crowded with small, velvety, orange-red blossoms from mid-summer to late autumn. Its large, dark green, pebbly leaves are beautiful in their own right, making this one of our favorite sages.

    Red Velvet Sage is native to Central and South America. In mild climates, it can grow up to 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. So sheltering it from the wind -- by staking or situating it near plants that provide support -- is necessary to prevent breakage of the heavy, red tinged stems.

    We have found that deep, weekly watering, an occasional light feeding of multipurpose fertilizer and heavy pruning in late winter or early spring keep this dramatic plant looking its best. One reward for this care is excellent stems for cut flower arrangements.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • 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.
    10.50
  • Salvia gesneriiflora 'Mountain Form'

    (Mexican Mountain Scarlet Sage) The large red flowers of this lovely Mexican native are cupped by dark red calyxes and bloom from early winter through spring. Although this clone of Salvia gesneriiflora is dwarf form, it grows 6 feet tall and wide similar to our other dwarf, Salvia gesneriiflora 'Green Calyx Form', which we've nicknamed "Tiny." We'll call this one "Tiny Too."

    The red calyxes are one major difference between this plant and the other dwarf as well as the more commonly known, larger variety of the species, Salvia gesneriiflora 'Tequila', which has purple-black calyxes.

    Both dwarf species are much shorter than Tequila and have smaller leaves and flowers. All are handsome, full-sun plants to use as landscape screens and borders. The dwarf plants also work well in containers, but may grow to a shorter height than in the ground.

    Hummingbirds and honeybees love these plants. For humans who enjoy the species but don't have room for the larger shrub, this dwarf form is a fine answer.
    10.50
  • Salvia gesneriiflora 'Tequila'

    (Big Mexican Scarlet Sage) This heavily blooming Salvia from Mexico has heart-shaped leaves and spectacular flower spikes up to 18 inches long from winter through spring. The blooms are bright red-orange with rich purple-black calyxes and stems.

    Give this sage full sun and plenty of room, because it grows up to 10 feet tall and almost as wide. It needs protection from strong winds and rains that can cause the heavily laden, woody branches to break.

    This variety of Salvia gesneriiflora often is called "Tequila" in reference to its scientific name. In 1970, botanists from Southern California's Huntington Botanical Gardens collected seed from the parent plant on the Volcan de Tequila in the Mexican Province of Jalisco.

    One of the showiest Salvias we grow, Tequila also is one of our very best hummingbird plants. It's popular with butterflies and honeybees as well, whereas deer avoid it. Use it as a screen, background planting or border.

    10.50
  • Salvia involucrata 'Hadspen'

    (Hadspen Roseleaf Sage) If you plant this sage in a mild-climate area where hummingbirds overwinter, you'll likely find hummers zinging back and forth among its magenta pink blossoms from fall through spring.

    In the hottest climates, Hadspen Roseleaf Sage requires a bit of deep shade. It appreciates average to rich soil and regular watering. This is the largest variety of the species that we cultivate. Sometimes growing more than 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide, it makes a fine screen or background planting, such as at the back of borders.

    This is our largest Roseleaf Sage and is of uncertain origin. It may have been collected in Mexico by New Mexico's Mesa Garden nursery or it may be a garden hybrid. This is the plant recognized by this name in the horticultural trade.

    Plant this Salvia where you want to make a bold statement.  We like to pair it with Salvia mexicana varieties for contrasting color and foliage.
     

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia involucrata var puberula 'Hidalgo'

    (Hidalgo Roseleaf Sage) The earliest flowering, hardiest and strongest growing cultivar of its species, Hidalgo Roseleaf Sage starts blooming in June on the Northern California coast. It continues into spring, becoming more spectacular every day, unless cut down by hard frost. In our mild climate, it never stops blooming some years.

    This Salvia involucrata requires a bit of high shade in the hottest climates. It also appreciates rich soil and regular watering. Hidalgo differs from Salvia involucrata 'Bethellii' in having stems that are more lax and an earlier bloom time.

    Thanks go to North Carolina Salvia guru Richard Dufresne, who collected this plant in Mexico.

    Growing up to 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide, it makes a fine screen or background planting, such as at the back of borders.

    Use this sage where you want a bold, strong statement. We like to pair it with Salvia mexicana varieties for contrasting color and foliage and the ornamental grass Stipa arundinacea 'Sirocco.'

    10.50
  • Salvia karwinskii

    (Karwinski's Sage) From moist mountain areas in Mexico and Central America, this rugged, winter-blooming shrub is found in oak or pine forests at altitudes of 4,000 to 8,000 feet. This may account for this winter bloomer producing a few bright red flowers during short periods of freezing weather with temperatures as low as 20 degrees F.

    Speaking of color, the flowers of Karwinski's Sage vary from rose red and scarlet to brick red. Hummingbirds love them all. Our clone is a clear, hot, orange red.

    The plant's leaves are pebbly and large -- up to 6 inches long -- with cream-colored hairs on the underside. Size is another dramatic aspect of this plant, which can grow up to 10 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Due to this generous size, it helps to plant Karwinski's Sage in a spot where it is protected against chill and winds. A south-facing wall is ideal. It makes a good screen or background planting, but can also be grown in a large patio container.

    To encourage upright, compact growth, periodically remove some of the flowering branches. Or you can prune the plant down to a few active growth nodes once a year at the end of its winter flowering season when it appears there will be no more frost.

    This sage is named for German botanist Baron Wilhelm Friedrich Karwinski von Karvin who explored Mexico in the early 19th century.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia karwinskii 'Red Form'

    (Karwinski's Sage) From moist mountain areas in Mexico and Central America, this rugged, winter-blooming shrub is found in oak or pine forests at altitudes of 4,000 to 8,000 feet. This may account for this winter bloomer's ability to produce some bright, brick-red flowers even during short periods of freezing weather with temperatures as low as 20 degrees F.

    Speaking of color, the reds of Karwinski's Sage vary, but hummingbirds love them all. This variety was originally collected by the San Francisco Botanical Garden.

    The plant's leaves are pebbly and large -- up to 6 inches long -- with cream-colored hairs on the underside. Size is another dramatic aspect of this plant, which can grow up to 10 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Due to this generous size, it helps to plant Karwinski's Sage in a spot where it is protected against chill and winds. A south-facing wall is ideal. It makes a good screen or background planting, but can also be grown in a large patio container.

    To encourage upright, compact growth, periodically remove some of the flowering branches. Or you can prune the plant down to a few active growth nodes once a year at the end of its winter flowering season when it appears there will be no more frost.

    This sage is named for German botanist Baron Wilhelm Friedrich Karwinski von Karvin who explored Mexico in the early 19th century.

    10.50
  • Salvia tuerckheimii

    (Dominican Sage)  From high elevations in the mountains of the Dominican Republic, this beautiful Sage is rare and unique.  The large, bold, deep green leathery leaves are a perfect backdrop to delicate orange flowers.  The fist to overegrown zucchini sized inflorescens is apple green with red highlights, with the flowers emerging over a long period.  In or out of bloom this is a distinctive and most attractive plant.

    Dominican Sage grows into a large evergreen shrub.  Since it is winter blooming and tender, it is most suitable for the frost free southern states.  Tolerant of almost any well drained soil, it thrives in rich soil with adequate water.

    We are happy to offfer this stunner for the first time in 2017.

    14.50
    New!
  • Salvia x 'Margie Griffith'

    (Margie Griffith Sage) Salvia x 'Margie Griffith' is a big, purple-flowered beauty with glossy green, ribbed foliage. It feeds hummingbirds year round down South and on our coastal, Northern California farm where winter temperatures are moderate.

    Donna L. Dittmann, collections manager at Louisiana State University's Museum of Natural Science created this sturdy hybrid, which is said to have Salvia mexicana (Mexican Sage) and Salvia involucrata (Roseleaf Sage) parentage. Perhaps it's the Roseleaf influence that gives it a touch of shade tolerance.

    Dittmann shared her plant with hummingbird expert Nancy L. Newfield, who shared it with us. The sage is named for their late friend Margie Griffith. The three of them became deeply connected through the Louisiana Ornithological Society and wildlife gardening.

    Salvia x 'Margie Griffith' is a perennial at the cooler end of its range and a shrub in warmer zones. In the far north it may bloom too late to support the fall hummingbird migration. It is at it's best in mild climates with little to no frost.

    Hummingbirds find it tasty, but deer avoid it. Give it average watering and rich, well-drained soil.

     

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

    New!
  • Salvia x 'Mr. Jules'

    (Mister Jules Hybrid Sage) Long, dark, velvety stems contrast dramatically with the deep red flowers of this hybrid, spreading sage from the University of California, Santa Cruz, Arboretum.

    The parent plants are Mexican Winter Sage (Salvia holwayi) -- a superior, spreading groundcover or sprawling shrub -- and Cardinal Sage (S. fulgens), which is an upright shrub with large, deep red flowers.

    Not well known in the nursery trade, this is a fine choice for great winter color and hummingbird habitat in mild climates.  It grows well in full sun to partial shade when given average watering based on local conditions.

    We consider Mister Jules one of the best sages for covering large areas and providing a bright spot during the dark days of winter. Its flower spikes are also pretty additions to cut-flower bouquets.

    Highly recommended.

     

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia disjuncta

    (Southern Mexican Sage) With its graceful, shrubby habit, purplish green leaves and intense tomato-red blooms, this herbaceous perennial makes a delightful display in your garden. It begins blooming in October and continues sporadically through the winter and into spring in frost-free areas.

    Collected by Strybing Arboretum botanists in the late 1980s, it is native to high elevations (7,500-11,000 ft.) in the Mexican provinces of Oaxaca and Chiapas as well as in Guatemala. This is a true cloud-forest sage that best loves a planting location with morning sun and afternoon shade.

    For a medium-size plant with pleasing proportions by bloom time, cut stems back to a few inches above the ground in early spring. You'll be pleased to know that although honeybees and hummingbirds love this sage, deer don't.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia x 'Mulberry Jam'

    (Mulberry Jam Roseleaf Sage) Magenta flower buds burst into fuzzy, hot pink blossoms in this hybrid sage from the gardens of Betsy Clebsch, author of The New Book of Salvias.

    This full-sun Salvia is thought to be a hybrid of the Mexican native Roseleaf Sage (S. involucrata). The other parent is unknown, but may be Chiapas Sage (S. chiapensis).

    Deep purple calyxes soften the brightness of the flower clusters. The glossy, mid- to dark-green leaves are oval-to-heart shaped and small. They turn reddish-purple as the weather cools in autumn. 

    The flowers of this long-blooming, perennial sage look pretty in bouquets and are attractive to hummingbirds.

    10.50
  • Salvia x 'Waverly'

    (Waverly Sage) A pale pink to lavender blush adds delicate color to the white flowers of Waverly Sage, which are supported by plum-colored calyxes. Its mid-green leaves are lance shaped and veined.

    This is a tender, woody shrub that may remain evergreen or an herbaceous perennial that dies to ground, depending on the winter temperatures where you live.

    First called "Mark's Mystery White," this long-blooming, sun-loving plant that can tolerate some shade. It appears to be related to Mexican Bush Sage (S. leucantha), but it's likely we'll never know all the details of its heritage.

    Waverly Sage has a fountain-like form with long stems that rise up from the base and then arch downward. Height varies depending, once again, on local growing conditions. On our farm, it tends to reach about four feet high and six feet wide. However, it does well in a large container.

    Deer avoid this shrub, which is popular with butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds. Heat tolerant and drought resistant, it is a great choice for dry landscapes.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

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Sage Experts: Meet Huntington Gardens Curator Kathy Musial

Sage Experts: Meet Huntington Gardens Curator Kathy Musial


Category: Sage Experts
Posted: Jul 19, 2014 08:31 AM
Synopsis: The Sage Experts series focuses on Salvia specialists — both amateurs and professionals -- in settings ranging from botanic gardens to universities. Kathy Musial, curator of live collections at Southern California's Huntington Gardens, is the subject of this profile. If you imagine a great dinner party involving lots of garden talk, Kathy Musial would be an ideal guest who could share her experiences plant trekking in Australia and Chile or co-managing some 14,000 varieties of plants at Huntington.
Pantone Pageant: Eye-Popping, Poppy Red Designer Salvias

Pantone Pageant: Eye-Popping, Poppy Red Designer Salvias


Category: Cultivating Color
Posted: May 27, 2013 03:55 PM
Synopsis: Here's a tip for Oz's Wicked Witch of the West: Pantone's spring 2013 Poppy Red is a designer color that won't make anyone sleep. It's a bright, wake-up call that is often found in the scarlet blossoms of many sages (Salvia spp.). We offer five eye-popping suggestions here for matching the Pantone Corporation's Poppy Red 17-1664.
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.
Hey, got any greens?

If you live in suburbs or rural areas where deer plunder gardens, Salvias (sages) can be part of your plan for discouraging these hungry visitors. Here are some tips.


  1. Mask smells that deer like with aromatic sages. Deer and other members of the Cervidae family, such as elk, mostly leave Salvias alone. One theory is that they don't like the fragrance or taste of sage chemicals. Strategically planting sages near vegetable gardens or fruit trees -- elixir to deer -- may prevent consumption.
  2. Grow hedges including Salvias. Prickly hedges, including hairy-leafed Salvias and exceptionally thorny roses, can discourage deer from entering your yard. They don't like the mouth-feel of those textures. Tall hedges also hide strawberry beds and other yummy plantings from view.
  3. Don't overplant one species. Grow a variety of Salvias in case local deer take an unexpected liking to one species of sage.
  4. Fence deer out. Install electric fences or 8-foot wood or metal fences around particularly vulnerable areas. Make sure electric fencing is turned on during the peak feeding seasons of early spring and late fall.
  5. Use motion-detection tools. Install outdoor lighting that is activated by movement.
  6. Let the dogs out. Deer are especially wary of large dogs.
  7. Surround and cover. Wrap tough plastic around the trunks of trees that have tasty bark and cover foliage with bird netting when trees and bushes are fruiting.
  8. Change yard ornaments periodically. Objects such as scarecrows, statuary and cordons of monofilament string with strips of shiny foil attached cause deer to shy away.
  9. Make safe choices. Research repellants you plan to use to make sure they aren't poisonous.
  10. Be flexible and ready to share a bit. There is no such thing as a completely deer-resistant garden.