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Elk Rainbow Sages™
Elk Rainbow Sages™

Rainbow of Salvia x jamensis

Elk Rainbow Sages

When most Salvia gardeners think about Salvia x jamensis, they visualize pastels. However, development of these Jame Sage hybrids is rapidly expanding to contain a broader range of flower colors from soft to intense and bright. An example is our new series of Jame Sages called Elk Rainbow Sages, which include bright solids, soft pastels and glowing bicolors in blues, pinks, purples, oranges, reds, yellows and whites depending on what Salvias crossed to create them.

However, one unerring distinction between Jame Sages and other hybrid Salvias is that, whatever plants are in the Jame Sage mix, both Autumn Sage ( Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla) parentage is always involved. These species are native to the drylands and mountains of the American Southwest and Mexico. The first ones collected were found as a genetic swarm near the tiny Mexican village of Jame (no s), located in Central Mexico where the eastern and western Sierra Madre mountains meet.

Although the unusual flower colors of Jame Sages are a major key to their identification, other aspects of appearance need to be considered, such as bloom shape, foliage and plant size. Similar to Autumn and Mountain Sage, a Jame Sage has flowers with a wide, skirt-like lower lip.

Although the foliage of Autumn and Mountain Sage vary somewhat in size and appearance, they are good clues when determining the parentage of many Jame Sages. However, some Jame Sages have foliage of different sizes, textures and colors (gray to deep green) than Autumn and Mountain Sage. The lineage of Jame Sages may include species such as Coahuila Sage ( S. coehuilensis), Mexican Sage (S. darcyi) and Canyon Sage (S. lycioides).

Height and spread also indicate differences in parental species. When looking at the entire Jame Sage group, its broad height range -- from 12 to 48 inches -- stands out from both Autumn and Mountain Sage and indicates additional botanical lineage. For example, unlike many plants in the S. greggii/S. microphylla group, some of our shorter Elk Rainbow Sages show promise as groundcovers due to matting growth.

A sage's habit of growth -- such as its cultivation needs and bloom season -- also help to identify it as a Jame Sage versus another kind of Salvia hybrid. For example, Jame Sage hybrids are heat and drought tolerant as are Autumn and Mountain Sage. Regarding sunlight requirements, Jame Sage loves full sun similar to Autumn Sage. But like Mountain Sage, it tolerates more shade and moisture than the other species. As with both key parents, Jame Sage blooms from spring into fall and may slow down in the deep heat of summer.

Finally, similar to both Autumn and Mountain Sage, Jame Sage hybrids are great at attracting tiny wildlife, including hummingbirds.

We developed the Elk Rainbow Series at our farm on the Northern California coast near the town of Elk. Jame Sages adapt well to a cooler, moister climate than that of their semi-arid homelands. Each Jame Sage hybrid that we select for development has Elk in its name. That way you know that it is an FBTS cultivar guaranteed to be a reliable repeat performer.

(VIBE® Ignition Cranberry Sage) A perfect companion to our Best of Breed 'Ignition White', Ignition Sunrise has deep cranberry red flowers that are rare in a Jame Sage hybrid. They bloom spring to fall for your enjoyment.
(VIBE® Ignition Fuchsia Sage) A perfect companion to our Best of Breed 'Ignition Purple', Ignition Fuschia has velvety deep fuschia pink flowers that are rare in a Jame Sage hybrid. They bloom spring to fall for your enjoyment.

(Salvia VIBE®'Ignition Purple') Purple once was a color reserved for royalty. Salvia VIBE® 'Ignition Purple' has deep royal purple flowers that are rare in a Jame Sage hybrid.  They bloom spring to fall for your enjoyment.

(VIBE® Ignition Sunrise Sage) A perfect companion to our Best of Breed 'Ignition White', Ignition Sunrise has velvety bicolor pink and orange flowers that are rare in a Jame Sage hybrid. They bloom spring to fall for your enjoyment.

(VIBE® Ignition White Sage) Never before have we seen such a pure white among the species to which Jame Sages are related. We love this purity as well as the bright green calyxes supporting the large flowers of Elk White Ice and giving it an overall crisp look.

(Elk Bella Rosa Jame Sage) The large, creamy pink and burgundy flowers of this sage are stately in contrast with its deep green, veined, ovate foliage that is pleasantly fragrant. Elk Bella Rosa is as elegant as its name implies. It's also long blooming.

(Elk Blue Moon II Jame Sage) The phrase "blue moon" signifies a rare event. Elk Blue Moon Jame Sage is an unusual combination for a Salvia x jamensis hybrid -- dusky violet flowers with pale-blue throats, dark blue calyxes and mid-green foliage.

Note:  This is a new (2014) cultivar that we chose to replace the original 'Elk Blue Moon'.  It is a superior grower, and otherwise very similar.

(Elk Blue Moon III Jame Sage) Dark calyxes cup dusky blue flowers that age to lavender and rise up from the veined, mid-green foliage of Salvia x ‘Elk Blue Moon III’.

(Elk Blue Note Sage) In Europe and Australia there is a popular and widely used seed grown Salvia variety called 'Blue Note'. Our offering, 'Elk Blue Note', is the result of several generations of careful breeding and selection.

(Elk Bright Eyes Sage) Dark green and red calyxes support the raspberry-red flowers of Salvia x 'Elk Bright Eyes'. The pink throats of the blossoms are topped with white beelines, or eyes.  This is a unique and eyecatching color.

(Elk Butter Light Jame Sage) "Clear" is how we describe the translucent quality of Elk Butter Light's creamy yellow blossoms, which are supported by bright green calyxes. Unlike the green-tinged flowers of Elk Lemon Light Jame Sage, these blossoms are paler and one pure color.

(Elk Buttercup Jame Sage) Red flower buds unfurl into the surprisingly buttery yellow blossoms of Elk Buttercup. Subtly bicolored, the flowers have touches of light pink including fine hairs on the upper lip.

(Elk Chantily Lace Jame Sage) What color are the flowers of this FBTS introduction?  Lavender? Periwinkle? Taffy?  Yes to all for this hard to describe but easy to love plant.

(Elk Cotton Candy Jame Sage) Rosy hairs on the upper lip and pale white throats highlight the translucent, blush pink blossoms of Elk Cotton Candy Jame Sage. Dark, deeply contrasting calyxes support the medium-size flowers.

(Elk Crème Anglaise Jame Sage) Framed by minty green foliage, the blossoms of Salvia x ‘Elk Crème Anglaise’ transition from dreamy pale pink throats to white skirts. They look delectable.


(Elk Crimson King Jame Sage) Sometimes words fail us when trying to describe a unique new color. Definitely red, but with a clear blue overlay and a blue eye. Featuring masses of flowers that delight pollinators, this FBTS introduction is new for 2017.

(Elk Grape Ape Jame Sage) Bountiful flowers that are larger than normal for Jame Sage cover Salvia x ‘Elk Grape Ape’ in a cloud of purple that is sort of amethyst to pinot gris in color.

(Elk Lemon Light Jame Sage) We are proud to offer this luminescent, pure yellow Salvia x jamensis -- a color breakthrough from our own breeding program. The bright, light blossoms cool the landscape similar to white flowers, but with colorful impact.  The glossy green leaves are quite small - a very attractive and distinctive characteristic.

(Elk Lemon Sorbet Jame Sage)  Unlike any other we have ever seen, this pale yellow flower seems at times to have a green tint.  The foliege is typical of the Salvia microphylla parent - mid sized, round and textured.  It is very different in flower and foliege from our popular variety 'Elk Lemon Lite'.

(Elk Morning Sun Jame Sage) Kelly green and black calyxes support the long blooming, creamy white and pale pink flowers of Salvia x ‘Elk Morning Sun’. A waterwise sage, it likes average watering but resists drought.

(Elk Peach Flambe Sage) Pale pink-to-peach edges surround the petals of Salvia x 'Elk Peach Flambe' like hints of petticoats. The deep maroon calyxes holding the flowers add drama to this small sage.

(Elk Pink Cloud Jame Sage II) Abounding with clusters of large, soft pink flowers on spreading branches, Salvia x ‘Elk Pink Cloud II’ looks like a fluffy, cumulonimbus cloud.


(Elk Pink Cloud Sage) Abounding with clusters of large, soft pink flowers on spreading branches, Salvia x 'Elk Pink Cloud' has a fluffy, cumulonimbus look when spilling over the edges of a hanging basket

(Elk Plum Parfait Jame Sage) It's a toss-up as to which are more dramatic -- the deep purple calyxes so dark they almost look black or the plum-colored flowers with pronounced white beelines. Elk Plum Parfait is a rare treat.

(Elk Raspberry Moose Sage) The deep raspberry flowers of this Salvia x Jamensis look good enough to eat, like spoonfuls of a silky, mouthwatering mousse dessert. Yet the 'moose' in its name isn't a misspelling. It refers to flowers that are larger than normal for a Jame Sage.

(Elk Screamin' Scarlet Sage) Wow. No, double wow. This brilliantly colored new variety is nothing short of stunning. The glossy green leaves are the perfect foil for the flowers, which at times are so numerous that the are all you can see.

(Elk Smokey Grape Jame Sage) We think the dusky lavender flowers of Salvia x ‘Elk Smokey Grape’ look like the dusty, pale reddish-blue of Malbec grapes. This is a floriferous beauty. 


(Elk Twilight's Rosy Glow Jame Sage) Rosy red hairs accentuate the upper lip of each dusky, salmon-pink blossom of this cheery Jame Sage. The flowers are tiny but abundant and are supported by bright green calyxes.

(Elk Xanadu Jame Sage) Like the magical, fictional land of Xanadu, there’s something heavenly about this sage. The flowers of Salvia x ‘Elk Xanadu’ look ethereal due to the bluish cast of their magenta-pink blossoms supported by deep magenta and green calyxes. It's a powerful attraction for pollinators, including hummingbirds.