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Salvia holwayi


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Salvia holwayi

Limited Availability Plant
Limited Availability

Available April to September only.

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Description

(Winter Mexican Sage) Call it the Snow Queen! From fall through spring, this graceful, colorful sage blooms through 20 degree F weather despite snow and ice. It has lovely, triangular, dark green leaves and profuse clusters of tubular, cinnabar-red flowers that puff out in the center.

in our coastal, Northern California garden, it often blooms from October through April and sometimes shoots up a few flower spikes in summer. Winter Mexican Sage is native to a wide territory from Chaipas, Mexico, to Guatemala where it grows at 3,000 to 9,000 feet in mixed pine and oak forests. It particularly appreciates locations with morning sun and afternoon shade. Use it as a mid-height groundcover, border plant or woodland garden highlight.

In colder climates treat this sage as a subshrub that dies back to the ground similar to an herbaceous perennial. Here on the edge of Zone 8 and 9, it is a shrub that can become large unless pruned.  However, it's well worth the time spent trimming.

Highly recommended.

Details

Product rating
 
(0 reviews)  

In stock
5 item(s) available

Common name
Winter Mexican Sage
USDA Zones
8 - 11
Size (h/w/fh)
48"/48"+/60"+
Exposure
Full sun
Soil type
Well drained
Water needs
Average
Pot size
3 1/2 inch deep pot
Container plant?
Yes
Our price
$8.50

Options

Quantity (5 available)

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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
Morning sun / Afternoon shade
Morning sun / Afternoon shade
Partial shade
Partial shade

Growing Habit

8 - 11
8 - 11
48 inches tall
48 inches tall
48 inches wide+
48 inches wide+
Ground cover
Ground cover
Shrub
Shrub

Water Needs

Average water
Average water

Blooming Season

Fall blooming
Fall blooming
Spring blooming
Spring blooming
Winter blooming
Winter blooming

Wildlife

Deer resistant
Deer resistant
Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds
  • 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.
    $8.50
  • 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.
    $8.50
  • 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.
    $8.50
  • 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.

    This sage is a beauty in containers and shrubby borders or as a groundcover. Although it can tolerate full sun, Red Michoacán prefers partial shade. So, if necessary, compromise by choosing a location with morning sun and afternoon shade. Sun or shade, hummingbirds will find their way to its nectar. Deer most likely will munch elsewhere.

    Confusion surrounds the scientific name of this plant. At various times, It has been improperly identified as Salvia tubiflora and as Salvia tubifera, which both are orange-flowered, Peruvian species. However, the foliage and growth habit of Salvia longistyla is much different.  This is the true, fall-blooming species.

    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • 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.

    This fragrant, compact Salvia regla has tidy foliage and large, orange flowers that bloom from summer into fall in USDA Zones 7 to 10. The absolutely unique characteristic of this variety is its bright orange bracts that even turn the heads of longtime Salvia enthusiasts.


    A native of the Chisos Mountains in Southwestern Texas and of Mexico from Coahuila to Oaxaca, Salvia regla is powerfully heat tolerant and fragrant. Although it appreciates average watering based on local conditions, the species does well in waterwise gardens. Give it full sun and well-drained soil. Grow it as a screen, shrub border or background plant. This is a favorite in native gardens and dry gardens.

    Hummingbirds love this species, which has become an important nectar source for their southbound, autumn migration to the tropics. Butterflies also visit. So it's almost impossible to keep this plant in stock when in bloom.
    $8.50
  • Salvia univerticillata

    (Blood Red Mexican Sage) From summer into fall, the fuzzy, deep red flowers of Salvia univerticillata attract hummingbirds. This sage from Chiapas, Mexico, blooms well in partial shade or full sun.

    The flower spikes are unusual, because the blossoms are arranged in single whorls. The heavily veined and textured leaves are almost round and have a pungent odor when brushed.

    This 5-foot-tall sub-shrub has soft, herbaceous perennial growth as well as woody stems. It is a heat-tolerant, cloud-forest native that appreciates rich soil and ample water for maximum growth. Plant it in a large container from which it will spill over the edges and form a lovely mound. Or grow it to full size in a shrubby border, especially in a damp woodland garden.

    This species once was confused with Salvia pulchella. However, this is the true Salvia univerticillata as displayed in the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. It grows well in USDA Zones 9 to 11.
    $8.50
  • Salvia x 'Marwin Gardens'

    (Marwin Garden Sage) Long blooming, this widespreading hybrid sage attracts hummingbirds and human attention with its large, coral pink flowers that are supported by green and white bracts. Marwin Garden Sage is a pleasure to grow, because of its reliability as well as its beauty.

    Compact and well branched, the foliage features mid-green leaves. At our Northern California farm, this beauty begins flowering in winter, which is ideal for our resident Anna's Hummingbirds that stay year round.

    Although related to Wagner's Sage (Salvia wagneriana) -- a familiar plant in Mexican patios -- this is a smaller plant that does well in containers as well as in the garden. The rest of this plant's parentage is uncertain.

    Somewhat slow growing, Marwin Gardens Sage needs rich, well-drained soil and ample water until well established.  Give this shrubby sage full sun to partial shade.

    Highly recommended.

    $9.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • 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.


    $8.50
  • Salvia wagneriana 'White Bracts'

    (Pink & White Wagner's Sage) Instead of pink, leaf-life bracts, this variety of Wagner's Sage has white bracts surrounding the hot pink flowers. It blooms from November to March on our coastal Northern California farm where it feeds Anna's hummingbirds all winter long.

    Come snow, ice or temperatures as low as 20 degrees, it keeps on blooming.

    This tall Salvia is a sub-shrub, which means that it has both woody and soft herbaceous perennial growth. It comes from the cloud forests of Southern Mexico and Central America where it grows at elevations of up to 6,500 feet.

    Averaging about 6 feet tall and wide, Wagner's Sage can easily grow 10 feet tall and wide if conditions are right. You can keep it more compact by pruning in mid to late summer before the large, prolific blossoms emerge on foot-long flower spikes. They rise up amid equally dramatic, bright green leaves that are triangular and soft as felt.

    Give it space, rich, well-drained soil and average to ample watering in full sun to partial shade. Plant it at the back of shrub borders and cut-flower gardens. This is an ideal plant for moist woodland gardens in USDA Zones 8 to 11.

    The species was named by 19th century plant explorer Helmuth Polakowsky (1847-1917) of Germany, who specialized in Central American flora. Although we aren't certain, it is likely that he named it for his somewhat older contemporary Moritz Wagner (1813-1887), a friend of Charles Darwin and a botanist who is especially well known for his exploraration of Costa Rica.

    PLEASE NOTE: Our best picture of this plant in bloom disappeared during a computer snafu. This picture doesn't do justice to the contrast between the flowers and their ethereal white bracts. So here is a link to a picture in the Cabrillo College Salvia collection.

    Highly recommended by honeybees!
    $9.50
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Winter Blooming Salvias (Part I)

Winter Blooming Salvias (Part I)


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Nov 26, 2011 06:21 PM
Synopsis: Some of the most dramatic "font-style: italic;">Salvias bloom in the Winter. Most of these are from Southern Mexico, and are very well adapted to grow in Zone 9 gardens.
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.


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They are blooming very nicely, providing a soft coral backdrop. I have them in 3 redwood boxes on my deck over Belvedere Cove. I used 1/3 organic cactus mix on the bottom, mixed with a couple of handfuls of "starter". Then I added another 1/3 of ...
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