(Wild Pink Lemmon's Sage) Botanists Sarah Allen Plummer Lemmon (1836-1923) and John Gill Lemmon (1832-1908) collected Salvia lemmonii in the sky islands of southeastern Arizona while honeymooning. A contemporary seed collector found this variety growing wild in New Mexico.
The flower colors of Lemmon's Sage vary from pink to red; this one is a vivid watermelon pink. Lemmon's Sage is closely related to the more common Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla).
To the best of our knowledge, Lemmon's Sage is endemic to the Huachuca Mountains of Arizona. However, this aromatic and highly drought tolerant shrub can also be found growing wild in to the rocky canyons of New Mexico and Northern Mexico. It flowers abundantly in waves from spring to fall.
Some botanists say the proper name for this species is Salvia microphylla var. wislizenii, which is named after Friedrich Adolph Wislizenus, a botanist who persisted in studying Southwestern plants during the Mexican-American War of the mid-1840s despite being a prisoner of the Mexican government.
We consider Lemmon's Sage to be a distinct species featuring exceptional toughness that helps it to survive and flourish in minimally irrigated areas. It tolerates cold, heat and drought.
Honeybees and hummingbirds love Wild Pink Lemmon's Sage, which grows well in full sun to partial shade and is a good choice for shrubby borders or patio containers.