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Salvia japonica


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Salvia japonica

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Description

(Japanese Woodland Sage or Shu Wei Cao) This short, lavender-flowered, ornamental sage has purple-to-green foliage. In Asia, this woodland plant has long been an important medicinal herb, used in the treatment of conditions such as diabetes.

Aside from being pretty, the foliage of Salvia japonica has been eaten during times of famine. In addition to Japan, it is found in Korea, China and Taiwan.

Although its 24-inch spikes of airy flowers are pretty, it is the richly purpled new growth of this mounding sage that particularly attracts attention as a groundcover or border edging. Give it moist, rich soil and partial shade.

Details

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Common name  
Japanese Woodland Sage or Shu Wei Cao
USDA Zones  
5 - 9
Size (h/w/fh)  
12"/12"/24"
Exposure  
Partial to full shade
Soil type  
Well drained & rich
Water needs  
Average
Pot size  
3 1/2 inch deep pot
Container plant?  
Yes
Our price
11.50

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Quantity (1 available)




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

Exposure

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

Garden Uses

Container plant
Container plant
Medicinal herb
Medicinal herb

Growing Habit

5 - 9
5 - 9
12 inches tall
12 inches tall
12 inches wide
12 inches wide
Ground cover
Ground cover
Perennial
Perennial

Water Needs

Water loving
Water loving

Blooming Season

Fall blooming
Fall blooming
Spring blooming
Spring blooming
Summer blooming
Summer blooming

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 - Very Pale Purple
RHS# 85D






Throat color - Very Pale Purple - RHS# 85D




Secondary color - Very Light Purple
RHS# 85C



Bract color - Light Yellowish Green
RHS# 144D

Leaf color - Dark Yellowish Green
RHS# 139A


Second leaf color - Deep Purplish Red
RHS# 71A



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

Rosette growing herbaceous perennial Salvias

These are herbaceous perennial species with low mounds of foliage and flowers on stems that grow erect from the base of the plant.

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

During spring and summer, completely remove any flowering stems that become spent.


Dormant Season Pruning

At the end of the season, cut to ground any remaining flower stems.


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

  • Salvia glabrescens 'Yellow & Purple'

    (Makino) The unusual flower color and short, mounding growth of this clone of Salvia glabrascens -- a woodland Japanese native -- make it distinctive. The blossoms are nearly clear yellow with striking purple beelines.

    This is a good choice for moist, shady garden spots, but can take a bit of morning sun. Makino cultivars are hardy as long as they receive plenty of shade, water and soil that is rich and well-drained. In autumn, short flower spikes rise out of compact, basal foliage, creating a gracefully proportioned look.

    This herbaceous sage should be seen up close both for its extraordinary flowers and lush foliage. Plant it in a container, along a shady pathway or as a woodland groundcover. Although slow growing, this tough yet lovely sage is worth the wait. Fortunately, deer don't like it.

    15.00

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia miltiorrhiza

    (Red Sage, Chinese Sage, Dan-shen)  The bright red, finger-like roots of Salvia miltiorrhiza have a long history in traditional Chinese  herbal  medicine.  We offer this important plant on a limited basis.

    WebMD reports that Danshen is used in Asia to treat a number of cardiovascular problems and "appears to thin the blood by preventing platelet and blood clotting." It is the subject of ongoing medical research.

    Danshen has fragrant lavender flowers that bloom in summer and seem to glow in the shade. This woodland plant grows well in partial shade. It prefers rich, well-drained soil and can handle ample moisture. Native to Asia, including areas that experience winter chill, it grows well in USDA Zones 6 to 9.

    This is a petite plant rising from 12 to 24 inches tall. Danshen looks lovely in mixed borders with Hostas and other woodland plants. It is also a fine choice for edging shady pathways where you can view it up close.

    12.50
  • Salvia nipponica 'Fuji Snow'

    (Variegated Japanese Woodland Sage) Irregular white margins surrounding deep green make the triangular leaves of this fine Japanese forest sage lighten the shade. In fall, pale yellow flowers add to the standout effect.

    Pennsylvania plantsman Barry Yinger, who specializes in Asian plants, deserves thanks for introducing this heat-tolerant, cold-hardy clone from Japan. In America, it thrives in USDA Zones 6 to 9.

    Similar to other varieties of Japanese Woodland Sage, this one thrives in many kinds of shade including full shade and settings where morning sun and afternoon shade are available. Give it plenty of water and rich, well-drained soil.

    Aside from being a fine container plant, this sage works well in perennial borders, along a path and as groundcover.
    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.

    This variety grows well in full sun or partial shade. Well branched and compact, it has 2 1/2 inch flowers that bloom from summer into fall. Similar to other Gentian Sages, this is a reliable perennial, returning year after year in Zones 8 to 11. However, all varieties of this species are so lovely that they are worth growing as summer bedding plants in colder zones.

    British horticulturist Graham Stuart Thomas called Salvia patens "the best plant in cultivation."

    Highly recommended by hummingbirds, but not by deer!

    10.50
  • Salvia yunnanensis

    (Yunnan Sage or yun nan shu wei cao) Yunnan Sage's tall spikes of violet-to-purple flowers bloom from summer into fall. Native to Southwestern China's provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan, it grows on shady, grassy hillsides and along forest margins at elevations up to 9,500 feet.

    This is an important medicinal sage in Asia. Its bright red taproots are made into herbal remedies used to strengthen the immune system. Research laboratories are just now identifying the active ingredients, after a millennium of use by the Chinese.

    Yunnan Sage tolerates cold as well as heat. It needs partial to full shade, average to plentiful water and well-drained soil. Plant it in moist areas, woodland gardens, perennial borders and along pathways where you can see it close up.

    Highly recommended!

    15.00
  • Salvia koyamae

    (Shinano-akigiri) Japan's largest island, Honshu, is home to Salvia koyamae, a shade- and moisture-loving herbaceous perennial. It is notable for arrow-shaped foliage and translucent, yellow flowers blooming from late summer into fall.

    Large and lush, the yellow-green hairy leaves of this sage form loose, gently spreading clumps. Although it can tolerate some morning sun, this is a shade-loving sage. It is a hardy choice for shady groundcovers, borders, containers, woodland settings and moist areas.

    An underused gem of a plant, Salvia koyamae and presents the added bonus of being disagreeable to deer. Highly recommended.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • 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.

    Spikes of deep, true blue flowers that rise up to 48 inches tall make this perennial sage a standout in the garden from summer into fall. This Gentian Sage is reliably perennial in USDA Zones 8 to 11. Its spectacular flowers also make it a fine choice as a summer bedding plant in areas with colder winters.

    Guanjuato Giant likes regular watering and rich, well-drained soil. It does fine in full sun or partial shade and can handle moist corners of the yard. Use it as a path edging, border, groundcover or container plant.

    German botanist Karl Hartweg discovered the Salvia patens species in 1838. British horticulturist Graham Stuart Thomas later called it "the best plant in cultivation."

    Although, true blue is not a part of the color spectrum that hummingbirds favor, they are attracted to Gentian Sages especially when mixed with red-flowered sages.

    10.50
  • Arisaema ciliatum

    (Himalayan Cobra Lily) Although significantly shorter than Arisaema consanguineum, this woodland species also has radial leaves like the spokes in an umbrella. We offer you well-established clumps that will reward you by blooming the first year you plant them.

    The plant's spathe, which is purple to maroon with cream stripes, is a leaf-like blossom that wraps around and hangs over the plant's greenish, finger-like spadix. Mid-green foliage spreads out at the top of the plant's stalk, which is called a psuedostem.

    Give this plant full sun to partial shade and rich, well-drained soil. It survives chilly winters.

    Most Arisaemas are from Asia where they are known as Cobra Lilies. This one is native to China's Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces. In contrast, North American species of Arisaemas are commonly called Jack in the Pulpit, with the spathe being likened to a lectern.

    Arisaemas are used medically in herbal formulas, but should be carefully processed for safe consumption.

    17.00
    New!
  • 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.

    Since the 1838 discovery of this herbaceous species from Central Mexico, Salvia patens has been a mainstay of the perennial garden. British horticulturist Graham Stuart Thomas called Salvia patens "the best plant in cultivation."

    Well branched and compact, this shade-loving variety has 2 1/2-inch flowers that bloom summer into fall. It is a reliable perennial, returning year after year in Zones 8 to 11. However, it is so lovely that it is worth growing as a summer bedding plant in colder zones. Whether grown as a perennial or annual, it is a perfect companion to any of the blue-flowered Gentian Sages.

    White Trophy can handle moist corners of the yard. Water it regularly and provide rich, well-drained soil. It looks pretty edging a shady path and in border, groundcover or container plantings.

    Highly recommended by butterflies, but not by deer!
    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

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Made for Shade: Japanese Woodland Salvias

Made for Shade: Japanese Woodland Salvias


Category: Shade Gardening
Posted: Aug 21, 2015 10:11 AM
Synopsis: Sturdy, shade-loving Japanese Salvias are lovely additions to woodland gardens with their lush, large-leafed foliage and delicate-looking flowers in colors including pinks, purples and yellows. They're ideal for bordering shady paths where they invite visitors to pause for close-up views. Flowers by the Sea suggests eight Japanese species for woodland gardens and organizes them according to their cold hardiness.