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Cultural Icons
Cultural Icons

When you open a plant description page, the first feature you may notice below the plant name is a series of tabs. One tab, Cultural Icons, leads to information concerning the plant's needs and characteristics. Each plant's cultural icons page is a quick read, because the information is represented by icon-sized illustrations that become familiar as you scan more and more plant descriptions. Click on an icon and its pop-up box appears explaining what it means.

Understanding Plant Cultural Icons

When you open a plant description page such as this one for Salvia x 'Margie Griffith', the first feature you may notice below the plant name is a series of tabs. One tab, Cultural Icons, leads to information concerning the plant's needs and characteristics.

Each plant's cultural icons page is a quick read, because the information is represented by icon-sized illustrations -- as well as words -- that become familiar as you scan more and more plant descriptions.

The page may be divided into as many as six topics:

  • Exposure (sun and shade needs, heat tolerance)
  • Garden Uses (container planting, fragrance, medicinal qualities)
  • Growing Habit (USDA Plant Hardiness Zone indicating cold tolerance, height and width, perennial or annual, whether it's a shrub)
  • Water Needs (drought resistant, preferring or requiring average watering, water loving)
  • Blooming Season (spring, summer, fall, winter)and
  • Wildlife (whether it is deer resistant and what kind of small wildlife it attracts -- butterflies, honeybees and/or hummingbirds).

For garden color, pay close attention to the Blooming Season icons. Although some Salvias bloom during a single season, many are long flowering such as Salvia x 'Margie Griffith', which may bloom year-round in USDA zones 8 to 11.

Click on an icon and its pop-up box appears explaining what it means. For example, the "full sun" pop-up box explains that the plant "needs or tolerates more than six hours of intense sunlight daily." It also explains conditions in which a full-sun plant may tolerate shade.

The icons are guidelines for success in plant choice and care. We encourage you to explore their meaning and use them to select plants appropriate to your climate and yard.


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