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 You are here    Flowers by the Sea / Salvias A to Z / Salvia plebeia

Salvia plebeia

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(Li zhi cao) Unassuming in appearance, Salvia plebeia is a sage with powerful medical potential. In China, it has a long history of use in folk remedies for problems such as sore throat, bronchitis, urinary infections and inflammation of the liver.
Price: $11.50
Qty:
Degree of Difficulty
Easy
Degree of Difficulty
This plant is easy to grow in a variety of conditions.
Common name
This is the non-scientific name used for a plant. A plant may have several common names, depending on the gardener's location. To further confuse the matter, a common name may be shared by several completely different plants. At Flowers by the Sea, we rely on the scientific name to identify our plants and avoid confusion.
Li zhi cao
USDA Zones
The U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones indicate the temperature zones where a plant is likely to thrive. It is determined by the average annual winter minimum temperature. Actual winter temperatures may be higher or lower than the average.
5 - 9
Size (h/w/fh)
The anticipated mature size of the plant: Height, Width & Flower Height.
18"/24"/30"
Exposure
This is the average amount of sunlight that a plant needs to thrive. Generally, full sun exposure is 6 or more hours of direct sun daily while partial shade is less than 4 hours of sun or dappled shade all day. Plants may tolerate more sunlight in cooler climates and need afternoon shade in extremely hot climates.
Full sun to partial shade
Soil type
This is the kind of soil that a plant needs to thrive. Most plants require a well-drained soil that allows the water to soak into the soil without becoming soggy. Sandy and clay soils can be improved by digging in compost to improve drainage.
Any
Water needs
Plants have specific water requirements. Water loving means the plant needs regular watering to keep the soil moist. Average generally indicates applying 1 inch of water per week, or watering when the soil is dry to a depth of 3 to 4 inches. One inch of water is equal to 5 gallons per square yard of soil surface.
Average
Pot size
This is the size of the pot your plant will arrive in. All will be well rooted & branched and ready to grow when planted. Our 3 1/2 inch pots have a volume of 1.0 pints or 473 ml.
3 1/2 inch deep pot
  • Salvia plebeia
Details
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Ratings & Reviews

(Li zhi cao) Unassuming in appearance, Salvia plebeia is a sage with powerful medical potential. In China, it has a long history of use in folk remedies for problems such as sore throat, bronchitis, urinary infections and inflammation of the liver. 

Finding accurate definitions of Chinese botanical common names can be difficult. However, we know that the cao in li zhi cao refers to "herb" and is often used to denote a sage. One meaning for li is "power," whereas zhi sometimes means "plant of longevity.

Put it all together and you have "powerful herb for longevity, " which makes sense to us. However, we're open to better translations from any Chinese linguists out there.

The helpful Sylvan Institute of Botanical Medicine website notes other common names ranging from the homely shui yang er (water goat ear) to tian ming jing (heaven's bright essence). The latter name seems to indicate that S. plebeia spells relief.

Due to the size of its long blooming, white-to-lilac blue blossoms, Sylvan has dubbed this plant "Small Flowered Sage." It's small overall and is a candelabra-shaped species with mid-green, ovate foliage that is not delectable to deer.

Li zhi cao grows in the wild throughout Asia. Adaptable from full sun to partial shade, it is equally flexible about tolerating cold and heat as well as a range of well-drained soils. Also, although this is a water-loving perennial, it can get by on average supplemental watering based on local conditions.