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Salvia greggii & microphylla

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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.


  • Salvia x 'Elk Pink Cloud'

    (Elk Pink Cloud Sage) Abounding with clusters of large, soft pink flowers on spreading branches, Salvia x 'Elk Pink Cloud' has a fluffy, cumulonimbus look when spilling over the edges of a hanging basket


  • Salvia x 'Elk Plum Parfait'

    (Elk Plum Parfait Jame Sage) It's a toss-up as to which are more dramatic -- the deep purple calyxes so dark they almost look black or the plum-colored flowers with pronounced white beelines. Elk Plum Parfait is a rare treat.


  • Salvia x 'Elk Twilight's Rosy Glow'

    (Elk Twilight's Rosy Glow Jame Sage) Rosy red hairs accentuate the upper lip of each dusky, salmon-pink blossom of this cheery Jame Sage. The flowers are tiny but abundant and are supported by bright green calyxes.


  • Salvia x 'Elk White Ice'

    (Elk White Ice Jame Sage) Never before have we seen such a pure white among the species to which Jame Sages are related. We love this purity as well as the bright green calyxes supporting the large flowers of Elk White Ice and giving it an overall crisp look.


  • Salvia x 'John Whittlesey'

    (John Whittlesey Sage) Hardy, vigorous and long blooming, John Whittlesey Sage is a hybrid of D'Arcy's Sage (Salvia darcyi) -- a native of Mexico -- and Mountain Sage (S. microphylla), which is native to the American Southwest and Mexico.


  • Salvia x 'Maraschino'

    (Cherry Red Mountain Sage) This isn't just another red sage. Brilliant cherry-red flowers with dark purple bracts and cold weather tolerance to USDA Zone 6 make this a valuable landscaping plant.


  • Salvia x 'Nuevo Leon'

    (Nuevo Leon Hybrid Sage) Imagine tiny, smooth, green leaves and deeper lavender-blue flowers than those of Salvia lycioides x greggii 'San Isidro'. With its midnight purple flowers, Nuevo Leon is a dramatic Salvia greggii hybrid.


  • Salvia x 'Penny's Smile'

    (Penny's Smile Hybrid Sage) British Salvia aficionado Robin Middleton, of the indispensable Robin’s Salvias website, developed this lovely and hardy hybrid from a chance seedling he found near the Salvia ‘Silke’s Dream’ in his garden. Heavily textured and hot pink, the 1-inch-long flowers are bright as lipstick.

  • Salvia x 'Sally Greenwood'

    (Sally Greenwood Sage) Sally Greenwood's small gray-green leaves are a striking backdrop for the complicated, velvety royal purple of its abundant flowers overlaid with a blue sheen. It's an unusual sage both in color and its tight, mounding habit.

  • Salvia x 'Scarlet Spires'

    (Scarlet Spires Sage) This is a brilliant cross between the sturdy D'Arcy's Sage (Salvia darcyi) and the beautifully colored 'Raspberry Delight' Littleleaf Sage (Salvia microphylla 'Raspberry Delight').


  • Salvia x jamensis 'California Sunset'

    (California Sunset Hybrid Jame Sage) Entranced is the only word to describe how we felt when we first saw the sunset pastels of this Jame Sage. After growing it for multiple seasons, we are just as impressed by its compact, well-branched form.

  • Salvia x jamensis 'Caviar'

    (Caviar Hybrid Jame Sage) Rosy green calyxes support the long-blooming, creamy salmon-pink flowers of this Jame Sage. It creates lots of buzz among honeybees and hummingbirds seeking its rich nectar and pollen. Caviar is a hybrid of Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla).

  • Salvia x jamensis 'Dyson's Orangy Pink'

    (Dyson's Orangy Pink Hybrid Jame Sage) Many Salvia x jamensis hybrids remind gardeners of sunrise, such as Dyson's Orangy Pink. Light green calyxes faintly striped with red cup its luminous pale salmon pink blossoms with creamy throats.


  • Salvia x jamensis 'Full Moon'

    (Full Moon Hybrid Jame Sage) The luminescent, bicolor pastels of many Salvia x jamensis are difficult to capture in photos, but easy to appreciate when viewed up close. Full Moon is a compact, long-flowering Jame Sage that has pale, creamy yellow blossoms with a touch of rose that are cupped by dark green calyxes.

  • Salvia x jamensis 'Shell Dancer'

    (Shell Dancer Sage) So many sages combine resilience and loveliness. This includes Salvia 'Shell Dancer', which withstands heat and drought yet has delicate looking blossoms and lush green foliage.


  • Salvia x jamensis 'Tangerine Ballet'

    (Tangerine Ballet Hybrid Jame Sage) Soft pinkish-orange flowers with contrasting yellow eyes make this Jame Sage look as tasty as sorbet. Hardy to at least 10 degrees F, Tangerine Ballet is also heat tolerant, drought resistant and long blooming-- all marks of Salvias in the closely related Autumn and Mountain Sage group.


  • Salvia x jamensis 'Yellow Pink'

    (Yellow Pink Hybrid Jame Sage) Dusty pink with pale yellow throats, the bicolor pastels of this Salvia x jamensis are especially charming up close. 'Yellow Pink' is a compact sage with tiny, smooth foliage.


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Blooms pretty continuously from late spring through fall, planted in full sun wit 45 minutes of drip every 5 days in summer. Attracts various pollinators.
Mary Smith
Aug 12, 2017