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Salvia sp. from Yunnan


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Salvia sp. from Yunnan



Time to think about Fall Planting
This plant is
Ideal for Fall Planting

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Description

(Mystery Yunnan Sage) Sometimes we come across a beauty that has no name. This lovely species from China's Yunnan province is an excellent example. Aside from lacking scientific and common names, it arrived here as an imported seed with little information about how the plant was discovered.

Our Mystery Yunnan Sage has red roots, similar to many Chinese sages used as folk medicines and indiscriminately labeled "Dan Shen" -- a name more accurately reserved for Salvia miltiorrhiza and a few other sages used in commercial Chinese medications.

Although there is much we don't know about this plant, we can say that aside from not being a variant of S. miltiorrhiza, it's not an S. dolichantha, S. hians or S. prezwalskii.

But it is pretty as a party dress and ready for the garden party in climates ranging from cold winters to hot summers. This sage is ideal for containers, shady pathways and front of border in woodland gardens.

Give this herbaceous perennial plenty of water and partial shade all day or morning sun and afternoon shade. It's petite except when in bloom; then it nearly doubles in height.

Writing in The Washington Post in June 2013, travel journalist Mike Ives referred to the Yunnan province as "China's Galapagos" due to its horticultural diversity created by monsoon-fed mountains that Ives says have become alpine "islands" carved by powerful rivers.

We'd like to go there. But for now, we'll grow our Mystery Yunnan Sage and dream of the discoveries to be made.

Details

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Common name  
Mystery Yunnan Sage
USDA Zones  
5 - 9
Size (h/w/fh)  
18"/18"/30"
Exposure  
Partial shade
Soil type  
Well drained & rich
Water needs  
Average
Pot size  
3 1/2 inch deep pot
Container plant?  
Yes
Our price
12.50

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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

Heat tolerant
Heat tolerant
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
18 inches tall
18 inches tall
18 inches wide
18 inches wide
Perennial
Perennial

Water Needs

Average water
Average water
Water loving
Water loving

Blooming Season

Summer blooming
Summer blooming

Wildlife

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 - Deep Reddish Purple
RHS# 77A






Throat color - Light Purple - RHS# 77C




Secondary color - Strong Purple
RHS# 77B



Bract color - Strong Yellowish Green
RHS# 144B

Leaf color - Strong Yellowish Green
RHS# 143B


Second leaf color - Dark Red
RHS# 187A



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 chinensis 'Nanjinga'

    Although this is a perennial species, most people in the U.S. who are familiar with Chinese Sage, probably know the annual variety Salvia chinensis . The perennial form is reliable; we’ve grown it for several years. However, little has been written about it.

    We’d love to hear from you if you grow perennial Chinese Sage. Aside from its profuse panicles of dusky, mid-blue blossoms that bloom in summer, this medium-sized sage has striking foliage. The leaves have hairy bottoms and topsides that are glossy dark green with a purple sheen.

    Water loving and heat tolerant, Chinese Sage is a particularly good choice for areas with humid, hot summers. The perennial form tolerates morning sunshine combined with afternoon shade, but prefers either full day partial or full shade. Give it rich, well-drained soil.

    Perennial Chinese Sage works well as a groundcover or in a perennial border or woodland garden. Use it in moist parts of your yard. We have discovered that honeybees love it. However, similar to most sages, deer avoid it.

    To the best of our knowledge, this is the correct name for this plant.

    12.50

    OUT OF STOCK

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  • Salvia glabrescens 'Shi Ho'

    (Makino) We would grow this rare clone of the woodland Japanese native Salvia glabrescens even if it never flowered, because the hairless, arrow-shaped foliage is so lush, toothed and colorful. As they age, the arrow-shaped leaves transform from yellowish green to dark green.

    This is a plant for moist, shady garden spots, but can take a bit of morning sun. It is hardy as long as it receives plenty of shade, water and soil that is rich and well-drained. In autumn, short spikes of small, pink and purple two-tone flowers rise out of compact basal foliage, creating a gracefully proportioned look.

      Makino 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
  • 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
  • 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

    OUT OF STOCK

  • 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

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia nubicola

    (Himalayan Cloud Sage) Nepal's Muktinath Valley -- a sacred site for Hindus and Buddhists -- is the place to go to see this majestically tall shade perennial in the wild. It grows at altitudes up to 14,000 feet and often emerges while the ground is still snowy.

    The creamy yellow flowers have thin purple markings and bloom throughout summer. They grow about 1 to 1 1/2 inches long on flower spikes that rise up 4 feet or taller by late summer. 

    In America, this fragrant, cold-hardy sage is adaptable from USDA Zone 5 to 10. In cooler climates, it grows well in full sun whereas a bit of shade is best In warmer zones. We find that it thrives in rich, well-drained garden soil with ample water. However, it is resilient and survives in less than ideal conditions.

    Use this sage in mixed perennial borders and moist woodland gardens. It is also eye-catching as an accent plant and sensual due to its fragrance. You might want to try it in locations where you are likely to brush against it, such as an entryway. 

    We love and highly recommend this one. Demand often exceeds supply; deer resist it, but customers can't.
     

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia przewalskii var. mandarinorum

    (Dan-shen Gansu) Growing into a large basal rosette of leaves measuring up to 3 feet across, Salvia przewalskii var. mandarinorum is known for its handsome foliage.

    In summer, tall spikes of rich purple flowers rise above the large, wrinkled leaves, which are yellow-green on top and wooly, rusty brown underneath.

    The scientific name of this species honors Nikolay Przhevalsky, a Polish-Russian geographer whose 19th century explorations of Asia increased knowledge about the continent's plants and wildlife. This sage is a traditional medicinal herb from the mountains of Central China. Its therapeutic herbal uses are similar to those of Salvia miltiorrhiza, which is commonly known as Dan-shen.

    This tough sage does best in partial shade in USDA Zones 4 to 9. It grows slowly, but eventually reaches 24 to 48 inches tall and 36 inches wide. Although this woodland plant only needs average watering that is based on local conditions, it also handles damp spots. It can be grown as a groundcover, container plant, edging or part of a perennial border.

    Highly recommended.

    12.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • 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

    OUT OF STOCK

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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.