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Salvia officinalis 'Icterina'


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Salvia officinalis 'Icterina'

Description

(Variegated Golden Sage) Icterina is our favorite variegated sage. It is a handsome, mild, culinary variety that grows well in containers in partial shade. However, the more light it receives, the deeper the contrast between its deep green, golden green and cream variegations.

Settings offering partial shade are a good choice for this petite, drought-tolerant perennial. It needs little watering and average garden soil containing enough organic matter to drain well.

This is an ideal choice for a perennial border, path edging or patio container, because its unusual foliage adds interest to the landscape all season long in USDA Zones 7 to 9. It becomes even showier in summer when its largish, light bluish-purple flowers bloom.

Variegated Golden Sage is a must-have herb for any serious cook. As long as you don't use herbicides or pesticides in the garden, its flowers and leaves are edible and add interest to main courses, salads and baked goods.

The species Salvia officinalis has a long history of use as a folk remedy. It has been valued for centuries as a digestive aid.

Details

Product rating
 
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In stock
5 item(s) available

Common name
Variegated Golden Sage
USDA Zones
7 - 9
Size (h/w/fh)
18"/24"/24"
Exposure
Full sun to partial shade
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
Partial shade
Partial shade

Garden Uses

Container plant
Container plant
Culinary herb
Culinary herb
Medicinal herb
Medicinal herb
Fragrant
Fragrant

Growing Habit

7 - 9
7 - 9
18 inches tall
18 inches tall
24 inches wide
24 inches wide
Ground cover
Ground cover
Perennial
Perennial
Shrub
Shrub

Water Needs

Average water
Average water

Blooming Season

Summer blooming
Summer blooming

Wildlife

Honeybees
Honeybees
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

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia elegans 'Golden Delicious'

    (Golden Pineapple Sage) The bright crimson flowers of this extremely fragrant, shrubby sage are attractive to both humans and pollinators. However, it is the glowing golden foliage that most distinguishes it from other varieties of its species.

    In cooler parts of its climate range, such as in Zone 9, Golden Pineapple Sage grows well in full sun. In warmer locations, it is a candidate for the partially shaded garden. A location with morning sun and afternoon shade is good.

    In areas with colder winters than that of Zone 9, this plant deserves a place in the annual garden where it gives many months of service for a small investment of time and money. Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds love it; deer generally avoid it.

    Give this flavorful culinary sage well-drained soil rich in humus. Compact and thrifty, it is an outstanding accent plant in borders, cut-flower gardens and containers.

    Native to Mexico, Pineapple Sage grows at high elevations in Pine and Oak forests. The species is used medicinally -- such as in herb tea -- to relieve anxiety and treat hypertension. Just smelling the leaves makes us happier.
    $6.50
  • 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

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia officinalis 'Berggarten'

    (Mountain Culinary Sage) Elliptical, silvery green leaves covered with downy hairs make this one of the prettiest types of Salvia officinalis. Berggarten is a German variety widely grown for its culinary value and attractive, tightly mounded form.

    Berggarten is powerfully flavorful, but not bitter. Every kitchen garden needs it for myriad uses in meat, vegetable and pasta dishes. It is delicious in sage pesto or sauteed whole leaf and served atop pasta tossed with olive oil and garlic.

    Aside from average, well-drained garden soil, full sun and a little bit of watering, this drought-resistant, heat-tolerant sage is not fussy. At 18 to 24 inches tall, it is just the right size for a fragrant groundcover in a dry garden. Spreading only 12 inches wide, it works well in a mixed container planting. Berggarten is a perennial in USDA Zones 6 to 9 and can even be grown as a houseplant.

    On the rare occasions that it flowers in summer, Berggarten sends up spikes of lavender flowers. Honeybees buzz to it when it does bloom.

    The species Salvia officinalis has a long history of use as a folk remedy. It has been valued for centuries as a digestive aid.
    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia officinalis 'Extrakta'

    (Potent Culinary Sage) Flavorful and fragrant, Extrakta is a modern European Culinary Sage known for its pungent essential oil. About a foot taller than most species of Salvia officinalis, it has long, narrow, spear-shaped leaves that are deep green.

    The tall spikes of lovely lavender flowers bloom in summer. As long as you don't use herbicides or pesticides in the garden, the flowers and leaves of culinary Salvias are edible. The flowers look pretty in salads or as a garnish. Extrakta's leaves are tasty in meat, poultry, fish, pastas, stuffings and vegetable dishes as well as baked goods. A circular pan of sunny yellow cornbread looks particularly pretty when topped with a spoke-like pattern of the leaves.

    This perennial sage needs full sun, little watering and average garden soil containing enough organic matter to drain well. Aside from being heat- and drought-tolerant, it withstands winter cold down to Zone 6. Use it in fragrant borders, along pathways or in patio containers. It's also a great dry-garden groundcover. We love it, but deer don't.

    The species Salvia officinalis has a long history of use as a folk remedy. It has been valued for centuries as a digestive aid.

    $8.50
  • Salvia elegans 'Honey Melon'

    (Honey Melon Pineapple Sage) This is a short Pineapple Sage that is long blooming. It is the earliest and longest flowering of all the many varieties of Salvia elegans. We recommend it for indoor herb gardening as well as for outdoor borders and groundcovers.

    Honey Melon has bright red flowers that hummingbirds love. It spreads into a dense clump with underground runners.  By cutting back older stems to the ground, new fresh growth keeps it in flower for months. On the Northern California coast, it starts blooming no later than May and sometimes continues until February.

    Grow this cultivar in partial shade in warmer zones or in full sun in the coolest part of its range. Along with Tangerine Pineapple Sage, Honey Melon is easier to grow in most of the country than the larger growing varieties of the species. 

    Native to Mexico, Pineapple Sage is found at high elevations in Pine and Oak forests. The species is used as a medicinal herb -- such as in herb tea -- to relieve anxiety and treat hypertension. Just smelling the leaves makes us happier.
    $8.50
  • Salvia elegans 'Tangerine'

    (Tangerine Pineapple Sage) This citrus-scented cultivar is our smallest variety of Pineapple Sage. Worth growing just for the exotic scent of its leaves, this culinary Salvia is also one of the longest blooming plants in its species.

    How is this variety of Pineapple Sage different from Honey Melon?  Tangerine's leaves are much smaller (1/2 inch x 1 inch as opposed to 1 inch x 1 1/2 inches), and the plant is shorter (18 inches tall vs. 24 inches). Tangerine also has darker red flowers, foliage with a very different scent and a shrubbier look. Of course, anyone who loves scented plants should have both.

    Tangerine Pineapple Sage spreads into a dense clump with underground runners. By cutting back older stems to the ground, new fresh growth keeps it in flower for months. On the Northern California coast, it starts blooming no later than May and sometimes continues until February.

    Grow this cultivar in partial shade in warmer zones or in full sun in the coolest part of its range. Along with Honey Melon, Tangerine is easier to grow in most of the country than the larger-growing varieties of Pineapple Sage.

    Native to Mexico, Pineapple Sage is found at high elevations in Pine and Oak forests. The species is used as a medicinal herb -- such as in herb tea -- to relieve anxiety and treat hypertension. Just smelling the leaves makes us happier.
    $8.50
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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.