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Salvia muirii


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Salvia muirii

Description

(Wildesalie) Dominant white beelines mark the violet-blue flowers of this heat- and drought-tolerant sage from South Africa. Dramatic burgundy bracts surround the flowers, which contrast handsomely with dense, fine leaved, olive-green foliage of Salvia muirii.

Its Afrikaans, this plant is called Wildsalie, which means “wild Salvia.” Often referred to as having a medicinal mentholatum-like fragrance, it is the focus of cancer research due to the powerful cytotoxins in its foliage.

Wildesalie was first recorded in 1915 by Scottish physician John Muir, who lived in South Africa for much of his life. As far as we know, Dr. Muir was unrelated to American naturalist John Muir, who was also from Scotland.

A tidy 24 inches tall and wide, this shrubby perennial looks pretty in borders and containers and as groundcover or edging for pathways. It grows well in USDA Zones 7b to 11. Give it full sun, regular watering and well-drained soil of almost any sort. You can expect a pretty show of flowers from spring into fall.

Details

Product rating
 
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In stock
2 item(s) available

Common name
Wildesalie
USDA Zones
7b - 11
Size (h/w/fh)
24"/24"/24"+
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 (2 available)




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
Heat tolerant
Heat tolerant

Garden Uses

Container plant
Container plant

Growing Habit

7b - 11
7b - 11
24 inches tall
24 inches tall
24 inches wide
24 inches wide
Ground cover
Ground cover
Perennial
Perennial

Water Needs

Average water
Average water
Drought resistant
Drought resistant

Blooming Season

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

Wildlife

Deer resistant
Deer resistant
  • Libertia peregrinans

    (Bronze Sword) By turns golden, creamy green or outrageously orange, the blades of Bronze Sword rise about knee high. Its star-shaped white flowers, which bloom on shorter, branched stems, are a lovely pure white.

    But this member of the Iris-family (Iridaceae) is primarily grown for its striking foliage, which forms dense, stiff, upright fans. Some of the blades have a striped look. As British garden writer Sally Nex says, Bronze Sword is an evergreen that you might as well call "evergold" due to the way its coppery amalgam of colors shine in sunlight.

    Similar to other irises, Bronze Sword spreads by rhizomes. When crowded after a few years of growth, it's easy to dig it up so the roots can be separated for replanting.

    Bronze Sword is native to New Zealand. It grows well in areas with mild winters, but can tolerate USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 7 if protected with winter mulching and excellent drainage. It does well in any soil as long as the soil isn't persistently damp.

    Give this Iris full sun to partial shade. It thrives with average watering based on local conditions, but withstands drought. Bronze Sword looks attractive as path edging and groundcover as well as in borders, cut-flower gardens and seasonal flowerbeds. Don’t worry about deer grazing, because they don't like it.

    $8.00

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia africana-caerulea

    (Blue African Sage or Blousalie) A handsome, densely branched shrub with small, gray leaves, this Salvia puts on a show when in full bloom. The pale blue flowers bloom on foot-long spikes that cover the plant. Each flower has a large, trumpet-shaped, green-and-red bract at its base.

    This plant is widespread on the coastal hills and adjacent rocky hills of the South African Cape where it loves full sun. Used both as a culinary and medicinal herb by the native peoples of this area, it was adopted by Dutch colonials in the 18th century.

    Hardy and drought-resistant, Blue African Sage can be a foundation planting in your garden or an unusual container choice. It is a butterfly favorite that blooms from late spring through summer with abandon. We love this deer-resistant Salvia and believe it should be used more widely.

    Note: We have reason to believe this species may have greater cold tolerance than documented. Also, according to some taxonomists, the correct name for this species is now Salvia africana.
    $9.00
  • Salvia africana-lutea 'Kirstenbosch'

    (Kirstenbosch Golden Sage) This clone of the durable and tough Golden Sage was selected at Kirstenbosch, the famous South African Botanic Garden. It is more vigorous than Golden Sage and often grows larger.

    Young plants are dense with elliptical, woolly gray-green leaves. The 2-to-4-inch floral stems carry whorls of 1-to-2-inch-long bright yellow flowers that age to rusty orange. The flowers look somewhat withered when mature, making them both an attraction and an oddity. This culinary and medicinal plant blooms from early spring sporadically through fall.

    Shear back by 1/3 in late spring to encourage new basal growth. When established, it needs deep watering at least once a month in soil that is, preferably, sandy and loose.

    This is a tough, fragrant, resilient beauty. Similar to many plants from the Cape region, it needs fertilizer applied sparingly and acid-to-neutral, well-drained soil.
    $8.50
  • Salvia barrelieri

    (North African Sage) This stunning herbaceous perennial has sky blue flowers on showy, branched spikes that grow up to 6 feet tall.

    Native to North Africa and Southwest Spain, it is semi-deciduous. North African Sage appears compact until blooming from summer through fall.  It's a surprising, spectacular addition to any perennial border. Plant it early for best bloom. After flowering time, you can cut it back to a low mound. We highly recommend this FBTS favorite.

    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia broussonetii

    (Stiff Canary Island Sage) The large, light green, furry leaves of this water-wise Salvia are beautiful. The plant's lush foliage and stiff, somewhat stocky stems contrast nicely with its branched spikes of small, delicate-looking, white flowers.

    Native to the sea cliffs of two of the Canary Islands off the coast of Northwest Africa, this compact Salvia is shrubby in frost free areas and a herbaceous perennial elsewhere. Its velvety foliage pairs well with Salvia hians and Salvia forsskaolii for a fabulous summer show.

    $8.50
  • Salvia canariensis alba

    (White Canary Island Sage) This aromatic, white-flowered variant of Canary Island Sage is equally large and long blooming. It is a beautiful focal point for a Mediterranean-style garden with its cloud-like flower spikes and large fuzzy leaves.


    In areas with mild winters, such as Zones 9 and 10, this drought-resistant sage may reach 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide, with foliage lasting year round. In colder areas, such as Zone 7a, White Canary Island Sage is a perennial growing up to 4 feet tall. Following frost, it dies back to the ground, then usually returns from its rootstock in spring. Exotic looking whether in or out of bloom, this Salvia is worthwhile even as a large annual for full-sun locations. On our Mendocino Coast farm, it blooms from June until January.

    This is the white flowered form of our Canary Island Sage.

    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia chamelaeagnea

    (Rough Blue Sage) Honeybees and butterflies love this deer-resistant shrub, which grows wild on the southwestern Cape of South Africa. It is a member of the most diverse plant community in the world, the fynbos -- an Afrikaans word, meaning "fine bush" and referring to scrub plants or shrubbery.


    Rough Blue Sage is a dense shrub that is heat tolerant and requires full sun. It grows in the wild along seepage areas, such as riverbeds, and in sandy soil among rocks. Good drainage is essential, but this plant can tolerate moist soil when necessary.  It grows up to 4 feet tall with many strong, upright stems. The leaves are dotted with glands that release a strong scent when touched and leave a sticky residue on fingers.

    The reddish-purple bracts surrounding the large powder blue flowers provide bonus color. Although it is considered to be a spring and summer bloomer, this sage puts on a show for us until autumn frost. We highly recommend this beauty, which makes a great patio plant in colder areas.

    $8.50
  • Salvia desoleana

    (Sardinian Sage) This is another must-have Salvia for mild, Mediterraneon climate gardens. It has elegant foliage and lovely, rosy lavender flowers. Sardinian Sage spreads non-invasively as an herbaceous perennial and almost never stops blooming for us on the coast of Northern California.

    When in bloom, this full sun plant is a magnet for honeybees and hummingbirds. Historically, it has also attracted followers of folk remedies and has been used in Europe to ease fevers.

    Similar to but denser than Salvia sclarea (Clary Sage), Sardinian Sage is native to the island of Sardinia and was one of our top 10 new plants for 2010. Although our photo doesn't do it justice, this is a lovely plant that looks great in perennial borders, dry gardens and containers.
    $8.50
  • Salvia disermas

    (Transvaal Sage) Growing in partially shaded stream beds and rocky grasslands, this herbaceous perennial from South Africa is showy yet tough as a ground cover or perennial border plant. Its spikes of large, pinkish white flowers bloom from spring through fall.

    The lush, lance-shaped, pebbly foliage is a cool gray-green. A compact plant, Transvaal Sage fits well in wild gardens and formal borders.  Combine this plant with Carex comans 'Amazon Mist' for an eye-catching display. This drought-resistant perennial is attractive to butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds.

    According to PlantZAfrica.com, the fragrant leaves are used sparingly in a tea intended to energize the body after illness, decrease fever and reduce heartburn. The website also notes that the leaves are used in a lotion applied to 'skin rashes, stings, bites, pimples, infected scrapes, scratches and sores.'
    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia disermas alba

    (White Transvaal Sage) This is the white-flowered form of the herbaceous perennial Transvaal Sage. It grows in partially shaded stream beds and rocky grasslands and is tough yet showy with spikes of large white, pink-tinged flowers from spring to fall. It is a good ground cover or perennial border plant.

    The lush, lance-shaped, pebbly foliage is a cool gray-green. A compact plant, White Transvaal Sage fits well in wild gardens and formal borders. Combine this plant with pink form of Transvaal Sage for an-eye catching display. This drought-resistant perennial is attractive to butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds.

    According to PlantZAfrica.com, the fragrant leaves are used sparingly in a tea intended to energize the body after illness, decrease fever and reduce heartburn. The website also notes that the leaves are used in a lotion applied to 'skin rashes, stings, bites, pimples, infected scrapes, scratches and sores.'
    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia fruticosa

    (Greek Sage) Most of the dried culinary sage sold in the United States is Greek Sage. Frescoes on the island of Crete, dating to 1400 BC, depict this plant used by the Phoenicians and Greeks for cooking and medicine. It is an ancient and beloved friend of mankind.

    In the garden, Greek Sage provides a pleasant lavender fragrance, especially on warm days, and has spikes of pink-to-lavender flowers. Similar to most culinary sages, it loves full sun and well-drained soil. However, it tolerates moist ground. This compact plant, which grows 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide, is a good choice for fragrant borders and patio containers as well as kitchen gardens.

    Grow this drought-resistant, heat-tolerant plant in well-drained soil that is on the dry side.  Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds will thank you with frequent visits.

    Although some cooks find Salvia oficinalis culinary sages tastier, Salvia fruticosa is easier to grow. It comprises 50 to 95% of the commercial market. We think it offers an interesting change of taste.
    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia lanceolata

    (Rusty Sage)  Named for its leaves shaped like the tips of lances, this nearly care-free, evergreen sage from South Africa has enchanting rusty rose flowers that bloom from fall (spring in its native land) into winter.

    This handsome little bush is found from sea level up to 1,000 feet in the coastal areas of the Cape of Good Hope. its tidy, compact look and ability to withstand drought and heat make this woody sub-shrub a must-have Salvia for any garden with full sun.

    Rusty Sage also needs well-drained soil that is low in organic matter. Grow it as a groundcover, in sunny borders or as part of your kitchen garden. In South Africa, it is used to season fish.

    Occasional, light pruning helps to shape the plant, but isn't necessary. Deep watering once a week during the summer is desirable. However, this sage survives on much less moisture when well established.

    $8.50
  • Salvia merjamie

    Leaf-like, fuzzy, violet bracts surround the 1-inch-long flowers of Salvia merjamie, which is native to the East African highlands from Ethiopia to Tanzania as well as Yemen and grows on Mount Kilimanjaro.

    Bloom time is from spring to summer. Some varieties have flowers of such a pale blue that they almost appear cream colored, whereas others have darker blue blossoms.

    The pebbly, basal foliage is dark green and has finely scalloped leaves. Overall, the plant has a tidy symmetry. Growing no more than 12 to 24 inches tall and 24 inches wide, this herbaceous perennial works well for container plantings, groundcover and dry garden flowerbeds. Honeybees and hummingbirds are attracted to it. So are medical researchers who are studying the plant's potential for producing anti-microbial agents to fight bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus.

    Heat tolerant, drought resistant and sun loving, this sage is found at altitudes of 6,000 to 13,000 feet in the wild. It grows in grasslands, along the edges of forests, on rocky slopes and even in cultivated fields that are lying fallow. In America, it is well acclimated to USDA Zones 7b to 11 where it grows in almost any soil that drains well. Dry conditions are okay, but it prefers regular watering.

    Mint Sauce is one of its common names, because many who have smelled it say it has a strong mint aroma. The Maasai tribe appears to dislike the odor of the plant in the wild. They call it Naingungundeu, which reportedly means it smells like a rat. We like its fragrance, but don’t know enough about rats to say whether there is any au de rodent about it.
    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia namaensis

    (Namibian Sage) Leaves with deeply dentate margins are rare among Salvias. The bright green, toothed foliage of this African sage gives it a loose, feathery look that is dotted all over by tiny, light blue flowers throughout summer.

    This short, shrubby perennial is ideal for hot, dry areas, because it requires little water to survive. Its strong fragrance is reminiscent of some California native Sages and makes it a pleasant groundcover or container plant that doesn't attract deer.


    In its native Namibia and on the East Cape of South Africa, this plant thrives in rocky limestone soil.  However, Namibian Sage isn't picky about soil as long as it is well drained. We find this sage easy to grow when planted in full sun in a warm area and watered sparingly.

    Although recommended for USDA cold-hardiness zones 9 to 11, this tough plant may be hardy to Zone 8 if treated as a herbaceous perennial that dies back to ground in winter. Mulch it during cold weather and make sure its soil isn't soggy.
    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia nilotica

    (Highland African Sage) Also known as Nile Sage, this drought-resistant Salvia is native to a wide swath of the African highlands, from Ethiopia to Zimbabwe where it is has long been used medicinally.

    In the West, Salvia nilotica is the subject of medical studies concerning the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory traits of the essential oils in its foliage.

    This vigorous perennial, which thrives at elevations up to 12,000 feet, doesn't need much care or water. Although the cloud-like spikes of tiny, lavender flowers aren't numerous, they are pleasantly scented and bloom from summer into fall. 

    This heat-tolerant, drought-resistant sage works well in dry gardens and perennial borders. It forms a tidy, gently spreading mound that makes an effective groundcover in full sun. Salvia nilotica is cold hardy from USDA Zones 8 to 10.


    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia radula

    (Scrappy African Sage) Although not well known in U.S. nurseries, this fragrant sage with luminous white flowers is highly desirable for hot, sunny areas in USDA Zones 8 to 10. Native to the botanically rich mountains of South Africa, it grows at elevations up to 6,200 feet.

    Scrappy African Sage is a herbaceous perennial that is closely related and similar in appearance to Salvia disermas, another white-flowered South African species. "Scrappy," as well as the scientific appellation "radula," refer to the roughness of this drought-tolerant sage's hairy, lance-shaped leaves.

    Growing anywhere from 2 to 5 feet tall with an average spread of 4 feet, Scrappy African Sage needs well-drained soil and prefers average watering depending on local conditions. However, it is ideal for dry gardens where it can be used in borders and for edging paths. It is also a longtime medicinal herb in South Africa and the subject of medical research concerning its anti-malarial and anti-bacterial properties.

    The climate in much of South Africa is Mediterranean, which means wet winters and dry summers. So Scrappy African Sage grows particularly well in similar coastal climates. We highly recommend this sage for its beauty, toughness and adaptability to a new home by the sea.

    Many thanks to Brent Barnes for this fine photograph.
    $8.50
  • Salvia repens

    (Kruipsalie) A creeping growth pattern is what gives this fine, long-blooming sage its scientific appellation "repens." The flower colors of this species include white, mauve and blues. Our selection looks like a pale purple cloud in our garden.

    The plant's handsome, bright foliage is rough and hairy with irregularly toothed leaf margins. Its foliage, short height of 12 to 24 inches and rhizomatous root system make it a fine groundcover or path edging. It also looks pretty in containers.

    Kruipsalie is the Afrikaans common name of this South African native that comes from from the Eastern Cape. "Salie" refers to the Salvia genus of which there are 26 native species in South Africa.

    Although it is often described as blooming summer into fall, our Kruipsalie flowers 10 months a year on the Northern California coast. It grows well in USDA Zones 9 to 11. It is drought tolerant, but responds to regular watering with lush growth. Give it full sun and well-drained soil enriched with compost.

    Salvia repens is among the South African Salvias regularly researched for its medicinal and pesticidal properties. In its homeland, it has a plethora of medicinal uses including soothing digestive problems, treating sores and disinfecting homes.

    $8.50
  • Salvia scabra

    (Coastal Blue Sage) Native from the sandy shores to brushy slopes of South Africa's East Cape, this sub-shrub sage is noted for growing easily in gardens elsewhere. Its lovely purplish-pink flowers have a subtle blue sparkle in bright sun and bloom spring to fall.

    Sub-shrubs are perennials with woody stems as well as soft herbaceous growth. This one has heavily lobed, lyre-shaped leaves. They are a deep green, which is unusual for Salvias from South Africa where velvety hairs often make foliage appear silvery and also help conserve moisture. Scabra refers to the roughness of this plant's leaves.

    In its homeland, the fuzzy flower spikes of Coastal Blue Sage grow up to 36 inches above the clumping, basal foliage. In USDA Zones 8 to 11, you can expect heights of 18 to 24 inches with a spread of 24 inches. Give this sage full sun, any well-drained soil and average watering based on local conditions.

    Use this lovely little sage as a small-scale groundcover, container plant or front-of-border selection. It grows particularly well in dry gardens. This plant deserves wider use.
    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia somalensis

    (Somalian Mountain Sage) Large, powder-blue flowers combine with 4-inch-long, furry, lime-green leaves -- a winning combination at bloom time from summer into fall. The flowers are unusual, because they generally grow on the branchlets and the terminal end of each stem.

    This sage from the high-elevation forest lands of Somalia grows well in full sun to partial shade. Although drought tolerant and a good choice for dry gardens, it thrives in normal garden conditions of average, well-drained soil and average watering based on local conditions.

    Somalian Mountain Sage looks pretty in perennial borders and cut-flower gardens where it can grow up to 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide. Container planting also works well and limits growth.

    Uncommon in US gardens, Salvia somalensis is the subject of research for medical and cosmetic use. However, this is a lovely, long-blooming sage and deserves to be planted more widely in the landscapes of USDA Zones 8 to 11.
    $8.50
  • Salvia tingitana

    (Mauretania Tingitana Sage) Native to Saudi Arabia, this sage has a long history of cultivation going back 400 years and weaving throughout various countries in the Middle East and North Africa before arriving in Europe in the 1700s. It was first described scientifically in 1777.

    Before the discovery of its Saudi Arabian connection in 1989, the origin of this heat- and drought-tolerant perennial was a hotly debated mystery. Was it native to Egypt, Syria, Aleppo, Tunis or Tangier?

    Tingitana grows in a wide range of conditions and is particularly useful as a border or cut-flower plant in dry gardens. It branches freely and features flower spikes with large numbers of 1-inch-long, bicolor, yellow and lavender blossoms. The roseleaf-type foliage is lime green, heavily textured and fragrant.

    Given full sun and well drained soil, this lovely sage forms a compact mound that also looks pretty in patio containers. This plant deserves to find a home in more gardens.

    Highly recommended.
    $9.00
  • Salvia x `Savannah Blue’

    (Savannah Blue African Sage) Two South African sages are the parents of this stunning hybrid with large, sky-blue flowers and densely branching, well-cut foliage. Tough and adaptable, this dry garden plant grows in full sun or partial shade.

    Savannah Blue gets its feathery foliage from Namibian Sage (Salvia namaensis ) and its flowers and strong stems from Creeping African Sage (Salvia repens). Both of the parent plants are good looking, but this hybrid is spectacular.

    Growing to a maximum of 36 inches tall and 24 inches wide, this perennial sage is a deserving choice for container planting. It's also an undemanding groundcover or border plant. We're excited about this sage's pretty looks and practicality.

    Highly recommended.


    $8.50
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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.
It's dry out there

Xeric plants are excellent for water conservation. They grow well in dry gardens with little to no supplemental watering once established. In fact, overwatering can harm these plants, which are native to dry environments such as deserts and chaparral.

At Flowers by the Sea, we identify all xeric plants with a blue plant marker that warns against overwatering. Here are some tips for growing and understanding our xeric, or blue tag, plants:

1) In a humid region, you may find it difficult to grow plants native to semi-arid and arid environments. Yet xeric plants may succeed if you have a persistently dry area, such as under a roof overhang or in the shelter of a tree.

2) Xeric plants are excellent for locations far from garden hoses, such as along sidewalks -- areas often referred to as "hellstrips."

3) Shipping is hard on xeric plants, which suffer from confinement in small containers as well as boxes. You may see some mold, spots on leaves or withered foliage when they arrive. But xeric plants perk up with proper care while hardening off in partial shade before planting.

4) When amending soil before planting, remember that xeric plants not only need excellent drainage but also flower better in low fertility soil. Fertilize sparingly and use a mix with more phosphorous than nitrogen to encourage flowering and discourage lax overgrowth of foliage.

5) Organic matter, such as compost, is an excellent soil amendment for xeric plants, because it keeps their roots healthy by improving aeration and drainage.

6) When your xeric plants are established, water infrequently to encourage deep root growth and to avoid fungal problems. However, it's a good idea to gently spray dust off foliage about once a week.



Looking for our latest introductions? Visit our New Arrivals page.