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Salvia scabra


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Salvia scabra
Special Order Plant
Special Order Plant
This plant is available by Special Order. Click here for additional information.
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This plant is sensitive to overwatering.

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Description

(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.

Details

Product rating
 
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Special Order Item  
Out of stock

Common name  
Coastal Blue Sage
USDA Zones  
8 - 11
Size (h/w/fh)  
18"/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
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 sun
Full sun
Heat tolerant
Heat tolerant

Garden Uses

Medicinal herb
Medicinal herb
Fragrant
Fragrant

Growing Habit

8 - 11
8 - 11
18 inches tall
18 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

Spring blooming
Spring blooming
Summer blooming
Summer blooming

Wildlife

Honeybees
Honeybees
Deer resistant
Deer resistant
Ready for some pruning?

Deciduous or semi-evergreen, soft stem Salvias

These are species whose stems never develop a woody character and that either die to the ground or loose leaves and become unsightly at the end of a growing season. This group includes both hardy and tender types. Many of the tender forms are grown as annuals in cold winter areas.

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 cut to the ground any stems that have finished blooming and are becoming unsightly.

In mild climate areas, growth can be so rapid that the entire plant becomes messy and spent mid-way through the season. In this case, it can be cut back close to the ground – given a short “haircut”. The result usually is fresh, vigorous new growth and another round of flowering.




Dormant Season Pruning

At the end of the growing season or after the first frost the spent stems can be completely removed, cut to the ground. Often these are a tangled mess, and one can get great satisfaction by cutting them all off. This also facilitates good garden sanitation, and will help to control pests over the winter.


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

  • 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.

    11.50

    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.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • 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.
    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia muirii

    (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.
    10.50

    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.
    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia pomifera

    (Fruit Sage) Also known as Apple Sage, this is an extremely drought-resistant plant. Its common names come from the small round fruit-like galls that an insect creates on its branches on the island of Crete where it is native to dry slopes.

    The galls develop when a small gallfly, also called a gall wasp, invades the sage's branches -- something that also happens to Salvia fruticosa in its Grecian homeland. Some people eat these tart-flavored galls raw and others use them to create a sweet conserve. Herbalists also use the leaves as a folk remedy, such as in tea.

    However, in USDA Zones 8 to 10, this fragrant, heat-tolerant sage is simply an elegant shrub that must be grown in dry soil.  Excess water during the growing season leads to a rapid demise.  Salvia pomifera thrives in full sun, even in dry clay soils. Yet it prefers ground that drains well.

    From summer into fall, its pale white-to-lavender flowers attract honeybees and butterflies to dry gardens. Use it as a groundcover on a slope, as part of a shrub border or an edging for sunny pathways.

    This sage is not common in the United States. We are very happy to be able to recommend it to gardeners in hot, arid regions.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia viscosa

    (Mid-East Sage) Native to the mountains shared by Israel and Lebanon, this fragrant sage is drought resistant, heat tolerant and long blooming. Its tidy, basal foliage rises up and spreads only about 18 inches, but it has tall flower spikes.

    Sometimes called Sticky Sage, its scientific name refers to the stickiness of the plant's calyxes, which cup small, dusky pink flowers that bloom spring into summer. Its strap-shaped leaves form a dense rosette.

    Salvia viscosa is easy to grow. It is an efficient, heat-tolerant groundcover and is perfect for dry gardens in USDA Zones 8 to 10. Combine it in a mixed border with the deep purple flowers of Salvia coahuilensis, which is similarly short and has the same cultural needs of full sun and well-drained soil. Although Salvia viscosa can get by with little watering, it appreciates average moisture based on local conditions.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

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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.