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Salvia greggii & microphylla

Salvia greggii & microphylla

Perhaps the most widely planted Salvias, the diverse group of Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla) features a wide range of colors. No garden is complete without some of these drought-tolerant, heat-resistant beauties.

Members of the Autumn and Mountain Sages are among the most widely planted Salvias. This includes their hybrids, such as the various elegant Jame Sage (Salvia x jamensis) varieties, which include many bicolors. A Jame Sage results when Autumn and Mountain Sage cross. Other kinds of hybrids occur when an Autumn or Mountain Sage -- but not both -- cross with other Salvia species. In this grouping on our Plant Category Index, we include all types of sages that have S. greggii or S. microphylla in their parentage as well as several closely related species.

Popularity of the Autumn-Mountain Sage Group is due, in part, to abundant flowers and a wide variety of colors, which include lavenders, magentas, oranges, pinks, purples, reds, yellows, whites and dramatic-to-delicate bicolors. The drought tolerance and ability of these shrubs to adapt to a broad range of USDA plant hardiness zones are also highly valued. These flowering machines cause color to flourish in a surprising range of altitudes. They thrive in the semi-arid, mountainous settings of their homelands in the Southwest and Northern Mexico and in more humid coastal landscapes.

Despite its common name, Autumn Sage flowers from spring through autumn, which is also the case with Mountain Sage. Although Autumn Sage tolerates some shade, it prefers long hours of sunshine, dry ground and open space. In contrast, Mountain Sage can take more shade and moisture. It also slows flowering during summer, then resumes its show of blossoms in fall. In contrast, Autumn Sage flowers most lightly in spring.

Jame Sage hybrids naturally share parental characteristics. As with Mountain Sage, a Jame Sage enjoys a shady road bank. Yet similar to Autumn Sage, it also thrives out in the open when not crowded.

Differences appear in foliage as well. The tiny, spear-shaped leaves of Autumn Sage are much smaller and smoother than the crinkly, heavily veined foliage of Mountain Sage. The leaves of Jame Sage may look similar to those of either parent or reflect additional sages involved in their hybrid mix.

Aside from their xeriscapic qualities and attractive look, it may be the commonalities of the Salvia genus that gardeners enjoy most about the two species and their offspring. Similar to many Salvias, the Autumn-Mountain Sage Group is fragrant and its vivid tubular flowers are alluring to hummingbirds.

There are hundreds of types of Autumn and Mountain Sage in the nursery trade. We develop new cultivars at our farm and also continually evaluate varieties that are fresh to the nursery trade. Our catalog offers you only the very best. All are good growers, have exceptional color and will bring joyful color to your garden.

Many of these plants are hardy to 10 degrees F. or less, making them important additions to cool winter areas. Some survive the frigid winters of USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 5 to flourish again in the spring. All are floriferous, and many are among the best of hummingbird plants.

We include five distinct types in this category:

  • Salvia greggii (Autumn Sage)
  • Salvia microphylla (Mountain Sage)
  • Salvia x jamensis (Jame Sage) hybrids created through crosses of Autumn and Mountain Sage
  • Miscellaneous hybrids with either Autumn or Mountain Sage lineage and
  • Closely related species that are similar in appearance and culture to other plants in this group.

Keep in mind that the Autumn-Mountain Sage Group is randy. Expect surprising natural hybrids in your garden when you plant a number of these sages in close proximity.


  • Hot 10 Heatwave™ Mountain Sage Mix

    (Hot 10 Heatwave™ Mountain Sage Mix) Ten different varieties of Australian Heatwave™ hybrids make this a hot diggity combo. These super drought-resistant sages are crosses of the American Southwest natives Salvia microphylla and S. greggii.

  • Salvia 'Dancing Dolls'

    (Dancing Dolls Sage) Sages can be such tough plants. Many, such as Salvia 'Dancing Dolls', withstand heat and drought yet have delicate looking blossoms. Dancing Dolls features cream and rose bicolor flowers.


  • Salvia 'Fancy Dancer'

    (Fancy Dancer Sage) Sages can be such tough plants withstanding heat and drought. Yet so many, including Salvia 'Fancy Dancer' have delicate looking blossoms. This one has bicolor flowers combining light and hot pink tones.


  • Salvia 'Golden Girl'

    (Golden Girl Sage) Sages can be such tough plants. Many, such as Salvia 'Golden Girl', withstand heat and drought yet have delicate looking blossoms. Golden Girl features yellow flowers with a hint of rosy pink along with dark rose calyxes.


  • Salvia 'Orchid Glow'

    (Orchid Glow Sage) Sages can be such tough plants withstanding heat and drought. Yet so many, including Salvia 'Orchid Glow' have delicate looking blossoms. This one has large, bright magenta flowers with white beelines.


  • Salvia coahuilensis

    (Coahuila Sage) Such a pretty little shrub! Its beet-purple flowers will amaze you from June until autumn frost. Coahuilla Sage is an ideal ground cover or sunny border plant at 24 inches tall and wide. Small, shiny, deep green leaves clothe this densely branched, mounding sage.

  • Salvia darcyi 'Pscarl'

    (Vermilion Bluffs® Mexican Sage) The brilliant red flowers of Vermilion Bluffs bloom abundantly from August to October. This variety of the Mexican native Salvia darcyi is cold hardy to Zone 5b at altitudes up to 5,500 feet.


  • Salvia darcyi x microphylla Windwalker®

    (Windwalker® Royal Red Salvia) Salvia darcyi x S. microphylla 'PWIN03S' is one of the top 2015 plants for USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 5 selected by Colorado's Plant Select®, a nonprofit organization that focuses on promoting plants for low-water gardens.


  • Salvia greggii 'Black Cherry'

    (Black Cherry Autumn Sage) Ripe Bing cherries come to mind when viewing the rich purple flowers of this full-sun sage that is adaptable to partial shade. Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds are drawn to its blossoms from spring into fall.


  • Salvia greggii 'Burgundy Seduction'

    (Burgundy Seduction Autumn Sage) A deeply saturated burgundy, the flowers of this Autumn Sage clone are large and profuse. They seem to bloom nonstop and glow in contrast to their dark calyxes. Plus, this Southwestern plant grows rapidly.


  • Salvia greggii 'Cherry Chief'

    (Cherry Chief Autumn Sage) With hundreds of varieties of Autumn Sage on the market, there is much confusion as to which ones to plant.  This red-flowered cultivar, developed by Richard Dufresne of North Carolina, is a top choice.

  • Salvia greggii 'Cold Hardy Pink'

    (Cold Hardy Pink Autumn Sage) Medium creamy-hot pink flowers and contrasting, red bracts make this Autumn Sage stand out. This drought tolerant Autumn Sage from Northern Texas is also compact, rugged, heat tolerant and capable of handling Zone 5 chill. Yes - Zone 5!

  • Salvia greggii 'Dark Dancer'

    (Dark Dancer Autumn Sage) The clear, light raspberry flowers of this largish Autumn Sage bloom from spring into summer. It makes a colorful, tall groundcover and looks lovely on slopes. This variety was discovered as a sport in the Aptos, California nursery of Nevin Smith.

  • Salvia greggii 'Diane'

    (Diane's Autumn Sage) Chip Schumacher of Hill Country Gardens in Texas selected this lovely Autumn Sage hybrid, which has handsome foliage and abundant two-tone dark purple flowers. This fine variety is often the first Salvia greggii to bloom in spring.


  • Salvia greggii 'Elk Pomegranate'

    (Elk Pomegranate Autumn Sage) We're proud to say that this is an FBTS cultivar. It is one of the finest dark flowered, compact Autumn Sage varieties we have seen. Its extraordinarily large, raspberry blossoms bloom from spring into fall.


  • Salvia greggii 'Flame'

    (Flame Autumn Sage) Crimson flowers contrast brightly against deep purple calyxes and stems in Flame Autumn Sage. The leaves -- tiny ellipses without veins -- are soft and shiver in the breeze.


  • Salvia greggii 'Furman's Red'

    (Furman's Red Autumn Sage) Selected by noted Texas plantsman W.A. Furman in the 1970s, this hardy Texas native is beautiful and tough withstanding heat, drought and freezing winters. Its flowers, which bloom spring through fall, are a rich, saturated red bordering on magenta.

  • Salvia greggii 'Lipstick'

    (Lipstick Autumn Sage) Similar to a little bit of lipstick on a pretty face, the rosy flowers of this hardy, heat-tolerant sage add a finishing touch to a perennial Salvia border. The creamy pinkish-red blossoms have a contrasting white throat and are cupped by rosy brown calexes on long spikes.


  • Salvia greggii 'Lowrey's Peach'

    (Lowrey's Peach Autumn Sage) No other Salvia has a color like this: a warm, rosy orange with a pastel peach skirt and bright yellow throat. Wow! This is our best pastel orange Autumn Sage not only due to its blossoms but also it's compact branching habit and glossy foliage.

  • Salvia greggii 'Navajo Purple'

    (Navajo Autumn Sage) Even a hint of blue is unusual among Autumn Sage flowers. Salvia greggii 'Navajo Purple' is a rarity due to its magenta-purple blossoms, which hint at natural hybridization including a mystery parent in the blue range, such as Salvia lycioides.


  • Salvia greggii 'Orange Yucca Do'

    (Big Orange Autumn Sage) Standout color is the big draw for this large growing Autumn Sage. Collected in the mountains of Northern Mexico, it grows well in a wide range of climates, including the hot dry Southwest and the cool moist Pacific Northwest. A difficult color to capture in a photo, it is well described as a warm orange with a scarlet overlay.


  • Salvia greggii 'Pink Preference'

    (Pink Preference Autumn Sage) Two-tone, hot pink flowers and contrasting, nearly black bracts make this Autumn Sage stand out. This drought tolerant Autumn Sage from Central Texas is also compact, rugged, heat tolerant and capable of handling Zone 6 chill.

  • Salvia greggii 'Playa Rosa'

    (Pink Beach Autumn Sage) When it blooms from spring into fall, this heat- and chill-tolerant sage is covered with large, two-tone pink flowers that attract butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds. This compact, drought-tolerant beauty also features small, shiny, bright green leaves.

  • Salvia greggii 'Plum Wine'

    (Plum Wine Autumn Sage) Frilly, lavender-tinged, pink flowers with a pretty white dot at the throat make this another outstanding contribution from North Carolina nurseryman Richard Dufresne.


  • Salvia greggii 'Radio Red'

    (Radio Red Autumn Sage) Dark calyxes support true red blossoms in Salvia greggii 'Radio Red', a 2015 introduction from the Darwin Perennials division of Ball Seed. Its tiny, smooth, elliptical leaves form a light, airy backdrop for the dramatic flowers.


  • Salvia greggii 'Salmon'

    (Salmon Autumn Sage) Creamy salmon-colored flowers with white throats make this elegant Autumn Sage perfect for a pastel garden or as a cooling color in a mixed sage border. Bloom time is spring into fall for this petite Salvia greggii native to the American Southwest and Mexico.

  • Salvia greggii 'Señorita Leah'

    (Delicate Lady Autumn Sage)The hot pink skirt and reddish throat of this sage's flowers draw the eye. Although Señorita Leah does well in full sun, the color of its flowers intensifies with a bit of shade. Compact and floriferous, it blooms from spring to fall.


  • Salvia greggii 'Stormy Pink'

    (Stormy Pink Autumn Sage) The dramatic name of this floriferous Autumn Sage is due to the calyxes cupping its smoky apricot-pink blossoms. Some gardeners report gray calyxes and others say dark plum. But for whatever reason, the Stormy Pink that we grow on our Northern California coastal farm has green calyxes with dark stripes.


  • Salvia greggii 'Teresa'

    (Teresa's Autumn Sage) Powder pink and white bicolor flowers make this sage look like an over-large bridal bouquet with densely leafed, dark green, mounding foliage. This sage appreciates some shade, but can withstand heat and moderate drought.

  • Salvia greggii 'Texas Wedding'

    (Texas Wedding White Autumn Sage) This is our best white-flowered Autumn Sage. It is compact, hardy and blooms abundantly. We love it as a contrast to the generally bright colors of its group. Texas Wedding seems to always be blooming, with massive displays in spring and fall.


  • Salvia greggii 'Wild Thing'

    (Wild Thing Autumn Sage) Native to West Texas where it was collected in the wild, this cold-tolerant sage has perky, upright flowers that are coral pink with a darker throat. Overall, it is a vigorous, upright plant with dense, deep green foliage. Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds love it.

  • Salvia greggii x karwinskii 'Brent's'

    (Brent's Fall Hybrid Sage) Although hybrids involving Salvia gregii (Autumn Sage) are common, but this one is exceptionally tall, attractive and long blooming. Its other parent is the tall, tubular-flowered Roseleaf Sage.

  • Salvia greggii x lemmonii 'Raspberry Royale'

    (Raspberry Royale Sage) Honeybees and hummingbirds love this sage, which stands out for its compact habit and large raspberry-pink flowers. Richard Dufresne developed this hardy hybrid that does well in full sun or partial shade and blooms spring through fall.

  • Salvia lemmonii

    (Lemmon's Sage) Closely related to the more common Mountain Sage, this aromatic and highly drought tolerant shrub is native to the rocky canyons of New Mexico, Arizona and Northern Mexico. Its rich pink flowers bloom abundantly in waves from spring to fall.


  • Salvia lycioides x greggii 'San Isidro'

    (Saint Isidro's Sage) This hardy, lavender-blue-flowered Salvia comes from Southern Texas and has the same breeding as the famous Ultra Violet Autumn Sage. Although it needs warmer winter temperatures and has smaller foliage, it also does well in stressful conditions, including drought.


  • Salvia lycioides x greggii 'Ultra Violet'

    (Ultra Violet Hybrid Sage) Hardy is a word bandied about by gardeners and nurserymen. Its use is often exaggerated. But this fine hybrid deserves to be called "the hardiest Autumn Sage." It's Zone-5 hardy, drought resistant and has lovely, soft purple flowers. Ultra Violet is a winner.

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Mine was a 4" potted plant that I purchased in northern California 3 years ago. I moved it with me to hot, dry Ramona, California and planted it in my no water garden. It is now 3' tall and 8' wide. I pruned it last spring and it's a beautiful, fu...
Jun 26, 2015