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Salvia rypara


  • Details

  • Cultural Icons

  • Colors

  • Pruning

  • Compatible Plants

  • Customer Reviews

  • Attracting Hummingbirds

  • Deer Tips

Salvia rypara New!




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Degree of Difficulty
Easy
Degree of Difficulty
This plant is easy to grow in a variety of conditions.

Shipping Information
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Description

(River Sage) Native to partially shaded stream-sides in Argentina and Bolivia, this is one of the few Salvia species that can tolerate wet soil.  It makes a fine filler plant in a group of other partial shade growers, its wirey thin stems sending up floral displays here and there, much to the gardener's delight.

In contrast with some of the flashy, brilliantly colored Mexican Sages River Sage is small and quiet.  It is a perfect filler lant in containers, and brings together more distinctive elements in a mixed border.

The variety we offer is clonal, a selection from the subspecies rypara 'Cuesta del Obispo strain collected in Northwest Argentina by Rolando Uria.

Details

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Common name  
River Sage
USDA Zones  
9 - 11
Size (h/w/fh)  
24"/24"/24"
Exposure  
Full sun to partial shade
Soil type  
Well drained & rich
Water needs  
Average
Pot size  
3 1/2 inch deep pot
Container plant?  
Yes
Our price
10.50

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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 shade
Full shade
Full sun
Full sun
Heat tolerant
Heat tolerant
Morning sun / Afternoon shade
Morning sun / Afternoon shade
Partial shade
Partial shade

Garden Uses

Container plant
Container plant
Fragrant
Fragrant

Growing Habit

9 - 11
9 - 11
24 inches tall
24 inches tall
24 inches wide
24 inches wide
Perennial
Perennial

Water Needs

Average water
Average water
Water loving
Water loving

Blooming Season

Fall blooming
Fall blooming
Summer blooming
Summer blooming

Wildlife

Honeybees
Honeybees
Deer resistant
Deer resistant

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 - Strong Purplish Blue
RHS# 96C






Throat color - Strong Purplish Blue - RHS# 96C




Secondary color - Yellowish white
RHS# 155B



Bract color - Deep Yellowish Green
RHS# 141B

Leaf color - Strong Yellowish Green
RHS# 143A



Learn more about how we analyze plant colors
See other plants with similar colors
See other plants with split complementary colors
See other plants with triadic colors
Ready for some pruning?

Deciduous, woody stem Salvias

These are species that produce woody stems, but die back to the ground in the winter in all but the warmest climates. In warm winter areas these can become woody shrubs, but they generally benefit from the following pruning methods.

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 the spring and summer, you can completely or partially remove any stems that have finished blooming and are becoming unsightly. This often stimulates fresh new growth and increased flowering


Dormant Season Pruning

At the end of the growing season or after first frost, spent stems can be cut to the ground. Some gardeners in cold winter climates say that leaving 3 to 6 inches of the stems intact during the winter improves survivability. They remove the remaining stems before new growth begins in the spring. In warmer areas the stems may never completely die back, but should be cut to ground to allow for new growth.


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

  • Salvia guaranitica 'Black & Blue'

    (Black & Blue Anise-Scented Sage)  Hummingbirds go crazy for this variety of Salvia guaranitica. The black calyxes contrast handsomely with the rich, royal blue flowers.

    Grow this variety as an aromatic border plant in full sun and well drained soil.  It appreciates regular moisture and fertile soil, but can survive moderate stress from shortages of either.  The thick dahlia-like tuberous roots, which survive well into Zone 7, are reliable and long lived.

    In case you are unfamiliar with anise, it smells like licorice.

    We highly recommend the much improved Salvia BODACIOUS 'Rhythm and Blues' as an alternative to this older variety.

    10.50
  • Salvia amarissima

    (Bitter Mexican Sage) Hummingbirds love this heat-tolerant Salvia, which is one of our best choices for shady, moist areas. The large-lipped, baby-blue flowers with white striations bloom from late summer through fall.

    This compact shrub grows well in the garden or in a container, especially where it will receive morning sun and afternoon shade or partial shade all day. In its native Mexico, it is used as a folk remedy for a variety of ailments. We love its grace and beauty in the garden!

    Highly recommended.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia cardiophylla

    (Heart Leaf Sage) From the rich plains of Northern Argentina comes this delicate looking sage with heart-shaped leaves and pale blue flowers so perfect they seem to be molded in wax. Although a slow grower that requires good garden culture, this Salvia is exquisite.

    Heart Leaf Sage needs fertile soil that is rich in humus and well drained. It grows well in the ground or in a container. Site it in a warm, sunny spot where it can receive partial shade and no reflected heat. Water and fertilize well. Be patient, as it seems to take a year or more to settle in and become robust. Then sit back and enjoy the lovely foliage and 1-inch-long, striped flowers.

    This perennial sage was found by Rolando Uría in Chaco, Argentina in 2009 and is one of the rarest Salvias in the world. It is quite slow to increase, but we highly recommend its beauty.

    15.00

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia guaranitica 'Argentina Skies'

    (Argentina Skies Anise-Scented Sage) PLEASE NOTE: A superior variety, 'Elk Argentina Skies' is now available.
    The licorice-like fragrance of its foliage and the big whorls of large, sky blue flowers make this a stand-out sage. Tall and wide, it forms a tidy, long blooming background, screen or border.

    Unlike many Salvia guaranitica clones, Argentina Skies clumps but does not grow by runners. This water-loving sage does well in full sun or partial shade and appreciates fertile soil. Butterflies and hummingbirds love it, but deer do not.

    Charles O. Cresson, who teaches at Pennsylvania's Longwood Gardens and is the author of three books in the Burpee American Garden Series, originated Argentina Skies Anise-Scented Sage. He first described the plant and published its scientific name in the September 1990 issue of 'The Garden', a publication of the Royal Horticultural Society.

    Cresson says he grew his popular sage from seed he received in the 1980s from a light blue flowered S. guaranitica found in the wild near Buenos Aires.

    Overall, Salvia guaranitica species are colorful, long blooming, dependable and adaptable to a wide range of regions. Argentina Skies is one of the most cold-hardy varieties.

    10.50
  • Salvia guaranitica 'Blue Ensign'

    (Green Calyx Anise-Scented Sage) Partly due to its shorter height and moderate spread, this Anise-Scented Sage is the best of any we know for container planting. We love its stunning Cambridge blue flowers, bright green calyxes and the licorice-like scent of its foliage.

    For in-ground plantings, we recommend it as a mid-border choice where it can be massed in front of the larger, light-blue flowered 'Argentine Skies' to create a hummingbird frenzy and attract butterflies as well. Both plants tolerate the cooler winter temperatures of Zone 6.

    Place Blue Ensign in full sun to partial shade and in soil that has average to rich fertility. Bloom time is from summer into fall.
    10.50
  • Salvia guaranitica 'Sapphire Blue'

    (Sapphire Blue Anise-Scented Sage) The large, sapphire blue flowers of this Anise-Scented Sage glow in the full-sun or partial-shade garden from summer into fall. Similar to Salvia guaranitica 'Blue Ensign', this is a shorter variety of the water-loving species.

    Hummingbirds, honeybees and butterflies all enjoy Sapphire Blue. Group it front of border with the taller Blue Ensign in the middle and Argentine Skies Anise-Scented Sage at the back for an intensely blue display.

    Sapphire Blue also looks handsome paired with its cousin, Salvia rhinosina, another sage from the plains of Argentina.

    Limited availability.

    10.50
  • Salvia guaranitica 'Van Remsen'

    (Van Remsen's Anise-Scented Sage) Big and beautiful, this Anise-Scented Sage grows up to 7 feet tall in rich soil and has lavender-to-purple flowers. In our garden, it blossoms from late spring to fall, attracting both honeybees and hummingbirds.

    Van Remsen is a water-loving sage that grows well in full sun or partial shade. Due to its height, it makes a fine screen or back-of-border plant.  The richly hued flowers make a bold, blue statement when planted with Argentine Skies Anise-Scented Sage.

    Thanks go to North Carolina Salvia guru Richard Dufresne for popularizing this hardy variety of the spicy, anise-scented species. Anise smells much the same as licorice and is a delightful fragrance on a warm, summer day.
    10.50
  • Salvia x 'Big Swing'

    (Big Swing Sage) With its large, cobalt blue flowers displayed on strong, wiry, branched stems, this eye-catching sage wins the FBTS "best of class" designation for being our top Big Leaf Sage (Salvia macrophylla).

    Garden writer Betsy Clebsch developed Big Swing, which is a cross between Big Leaf Sage and Arrowleaf Sage (S. sagitata). Its flower spikes rise well above handsome foliage with large, furry, arrowhead-shaped leaves that look almost tropical.

    Use this heat-tolerant plant to bring a lush look to a damp corner of your garden or in mixed patio containers.  Give it rich, well-drained soil and plenty of water for a long bloom season.

    Big Swing comes highly recommended by butterflies, but deer leave it alone.

    10.50
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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.