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Tweedia caerulea


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Tweedia caerulea




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Description

(Blue Milkweed) It's not unusual to see the sky-blue, star-shaped flowers of Tweedia caerulea tucked into bridal bouquets. Yet they are members of the humble milkweed family Asclepiadaceae.

Blue Milkweed is a heat-loving species that grows best in a location with full sun and access to a bit of shade. It is native to Uruguay and Southern Brazil and can be planted as a perennial in USDA Cold Hardiness Zones with moderate winter weather. However, it works well as an annual in other zones. You can encourage branching by pinching the flower buds back when growth is young.

Other common names for Blue Milkweed include Southern Star, Star of the Argentine, Silkpods and Star Flower. Another scientific synonym is Oxypetalum coeruleum. Sometimes its petals have lovely purple speckles.

This milkweed is widely grown in New Zealand to provide nectar and host caterpillars for Monarch butterflies.

Caerulea is Latin for blue. In contrast, the genus name honors James Tweedie (1775-1862), the Scottish gardener and plant explorer who found the species in South America during the first half of the 19th century. At the age of 50, Tweedie immigrated to South America and traveled throughout the continent collecting plants to send back to Scotland. He is best known for introducing wild petunias to Europe, which became wildly popular hybrids worldwide.

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Common name  
Blue Milkweed
USDA Zones  
8 - 11
Size (h/w/fh)  
36"/24"/36"
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.
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Exposure

Full sun
Full sun
Heat tolerant
Heat tolerant

Garden Uses

Container plant
Container plant

Growing Habit

8 - 11
8 - 11
36 inches tall
36 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

Butterflies
Butterflies
Deer resistant
Deer resistant
  • Leonotis leonurus

    (Lion's Ear or Wild Dagga) "Leon" is Greek for "lion," whereas "otis" translates as "ear." The appellation "leonurus" equals "lion colored." Actually, we think the tawny orange blossoms of this mint family (Lamiaceae) species look more like a lion's mane.

    The flowers grow in tiered whorls along velvety stems so tall they may rise above your head. When crushed, the plant's lance-shaped leaves are fragrant similar to many mint-family species.

    Lion's Ear is native to rocky grasslands in South Africa. It is a tropical shrub that forms clumps and grows rapidly. It combines soft herbaceous growth with woodiness at the base of its stems. Pollinators, including butterflies, are attracted to Lion's Ear nectar, which is plentiful. In South Africa, where it is mainly called Wild Dagga, parts of the shrub are used medicinally to sooth coughs, dysentery, fevers and headaches.

    Lion's Ear is perennial in areas with mild climates and works well as an annual in regions with cold winter temperatures. It is a fine Salvia companion, particularly as a long-blooming background planting.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia greggii 'Stormy Pink'

    (Stormy Pink Autumn Sage) The dramatic name of this floriferous Autumn Sage is due to the calyxes cupping its smoky apricot-pink blossoms. Some gardeners report gray calyxes and others say dark plum. But for whatever reason, the Stormy Pink that we grow on our Northern California coastal farm has green calyxes with dark stripes.

    Different soils and local conditions can create mysterious differences in the same Salvia species.

    American expatriate and horticulturist Derry Watkins discovered Stormy Pink as a chance seedling at her Special Plants nursery in England. Similar to all Salvia greggii, it is a sturdy, long-blooming plant with a froth of fragrant green foliage made up of tiny, elliptical leaves.

    Autumn Sage is native to America and Mexico. Stormy Pink is one of its taller varieties unless it gets too much partial shade and becomes lax. It grows best in full sun, which helps to limit the branches tendency to laxness.

    This heat-tolerant perennial also needs well-drained soil but isn't picky about its composition. Although it thrives with average watering based on local rainfall, Stormy Pink is drought tolerant.

    This is an Autumn Sage to mass, because butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds love it.

    10.50
  • Salvia leucantha 'White Mischief'

    (White Mischief Mexican Bush Sage) Profuse white blossoms and true white velvety bracts make the flowers of this South African hybrid a lovely choice for a wedding. In our experience, many of the plants sold as White Mischief are not the real thing. This tough, compact, long blooming sage is.

    Although its flowers are white, we've noticed that hummingbirds love this Salvia leucantha, which blooms summer into fall. Butterflies are also partial to it, but luckily deer keep their distance.

    Plant this heat-loving herbaceous perennial in full sun and well-drained soil. It is elegant in shrubby borders, large containers and cut-flower gardens. 

    10.50
  • Salvia microphylla 'Belize Form'

    (Black Stem Mountain Sage) Intense cardinal red flowers, stiff black stems and large, ribbed, green leaves make this Salvia microphylla stand out. Its color and upright growth make it dramatic amid a group of soft, rounded Salvias.

    Mountain Sage usually ranges from 24 to 48 inches tall. This is one of the larger varieties. The species is native to the American Southwest, most parts of Mexico and sometimes is found further south in Guatemala and Belize.

    Mountain sages grow well in full sun and partial shade. This one does very well in partial shade and even blooms in full shade. Due to originating in the warmer climes of Belize, it is less cold hardy than many cultivars of the species.

    In USDA Zones 8 to 9, Black Stem blooms from spring to fall, but with little production in summer. Except for good drainage, it isn't picky about its soil. Depending on local conditions, it may fit into either a perennial or shrub border. Black Stem also looks pretty as a background planting or screen. Heat and drought tolerant, it does well in dry and native gardens. We highly recommend it, and so do hummingbirds.
     

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia verticillata

    (Lilac Sage) We try not to brag too much, but this is our own variety of Salvia verticillata from home-grown seed, and we think it is spectacular. Butterflies and honeybees also are in love with this long-blooming, heat-tolerant perennial.

    Spring into summer, dense whorls of blue-to-smoky lavender flowers cover 3-foot-tall spikes arising from fragrant, mint-green, basal foliage. This native of Europe and Central Asia is lovely when mixed in cut-flower arrangements.

    Although it only needs average watering based on local conditions, Lilac Sage works well in moist areas. It looks pretty in borders and containers and as a pathway edging. Give it full sun or partial shade in USDA Zones 5 to 9.

    We offer this plant at a very reasonable price in order to encourage its widespread planting. When you grow Salvia verticillata, you help us help the honeybees and other beneficial insects pollinating gardens.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia x 'Celestial Blue'

    (Celestial Blue Sage) Fast growing and adaptable, this sage is a chance hybrid between Cleveland Sage (Salvia clevelandii) -- also called California Blue Sage -- and California Rose Sage (Salvia pachyphylla). It may also be related to California Purple Sage (Salvia leucophylla).

    Celestial Blue has lovely royal blue flowers and purple bracts. Sun-loving, heat tolerant and drought resistant, it was discovered at Las Pilitas Native Plant Nursery in Southern California.

    This fragrant sage blooms and blooms throughout the heat of summer. Tolerant of everything but wet feet during summer, it withstands winter temperatures as low as 10 degrees F for a short time as well as lows in the 20-degree range for days. 

    Use this pretty plant in tough soils, on banks and in areas where watering is difficult or undesirable.  Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds love it, but deer leave it alone. This cultivar is one of the best Salvias for cut-flower arrangements.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia x jamensis 'Tangerine Ballet'

    (Tangerine Ballet Hybrid Jame Sage) Soft pinkish-orange flowers with contrasting yellow eyes make this Jame Sage look as tasty as sorbet. Hardy to at least 10 degrees F, Tangerine Ballet is also heat tolerant, drought resistant and long blooming-- all marks of Salvias in the closely related Autumn and Mountain Sage group.

    Jame Sage is a cross of Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii), Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla) and, possibly, other Salvia species. Determining a Jame Sage's precise parentage can be complicated, because one or both of its Autumn/Mountain sage parents may also be hybrids. This hybrid-of-a-hybrid phenomenon may be the case for Tangerine Ballet, which is one of our taller Jame Sage varieties.

    Native to Mexico and the American Southwest, Jame Sage occurs in areas where the closely related species of Autumn Sage and Mountain Sage meet, such as near the Village of Jame in Mexico's Sierra Madre Mountains.

    Upright in form with leaves that closely resemble the tiny, smooth foliage of its Autumn Sage parent, Tangerine Ballet is perfect massed as a groundcover or in spots calling for small shrubbery, such as path edges. Jame Sage loves full sun, but tolerates a bit of shade.

    Highly recommended by butterflies, honeybees, hummingbirds and gardeners!

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

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Cultivating Color: 15 Plants in Pantone Combos for 2015

Cultivating Color: 15 Plants in Pantone Combos for 2015


Category: Cultivating Color
Posted: Jan 4, 2015 04:27 PM
Synopsis: Pantone color corporation's 2015 spring designer colors can inspire garden design, including the company's color of the year -- a red-brown shade of the wine called Marsala. FBTS suggests 15 plants in seven combinations of Salvias and companion species, based on the 2015 Pantone Fashion Color Report, to help you shake up color in your landscape. We include water-loving choices as well as drought-resistant plants.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly

Fragrance as well as color attracts butterflies. However, they don't have noses. Instead, butterflies smell and taste with their antennas and feet. Here are some ways to attract them:


  1. Plant sages with platform-type blossoms. Unlike hummingbirds, butterflies can't hover while feeding. Sages with large lower lips and short nectar tubes, such as those in the Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (S. microphylla) group, give butterflies a place to stand while gathering nectar and pollen.
  2. Provide lots of color and sunlight. Butterflies need to stay warm and are attracted to a broad range of flower colors.
  3. Include native species. Insects and plants have co-evolved to meet each other's needs within their native regions. Butterflies prefer feeding on their local, native perennials and shrubs.
  4. Grow Caterpillar Host Plants. Butterflies need baby nurseries. Some are extremely picky about the plants on which they lay eggs, such as Monarchs, which need milkweeds (Asclepias spp.). The North American Butterfly Association is a good source of information about host plants.
  5. Don't use pesticides. They kill many beneficial insects, including butterflies.
  6. Keep your garden blooming. Plant a variety of Salvias based on bloom times as well as color and shape. Many flower from spring into fall. Others are prolific fountains of nectar for shorter seasons.
  7. Provide puddles. Butterflies stay hydrated by splashing in puddles located in sunny spots on the ground or raised up in shallow birdbaths. Include rocks for basking; butterflies need to dry and warm their wings.
  8. Plant butterfly gardens near shelter. Butterflies need to be able to flee into trees, shrubbery and woodpiles when predators appear and when windy or rainy weather occurs.
  9. Supplement plantings with rotten fruit. Some butterflies love the juice of rotting fruit even more than nectar.
  10. Read more. Our Everything Salvias Blog offers a number of articles about butterflies.

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.