Flowers by the Sea grows all the hundreds of plants in this catalog, which are mainly the sages (Salvia spp.) in our A to Z list. The green menu banner at the top of this page also shows plants grouped by characteristics, origins and uses.
Using our menu, you can search Salvias by topics, such as the color of their flowers, the seasons in which they bloom, their cultural needs for sun and water, the USDA Cold Hardiness Zones in which they thrive and the kinds of sages that appeal to butterflies and hummingbirds. You can also look by origins, which is particularly helpful for native plant gardeners. However, if you know the scientific or common name of the Salvia you want and just need to see if we carry it, the A to Z list is a quick route to that information.
Salvia gains its name from the Latin word salvare which means to heal or save. Herbalists have used various species for centuries as folk medicines. Nowadays, medical researchers are studying many sages, which are also gaining popularity as long-blooming landscaping plants that require little fuss.
With about 900 flowering species -- including annuals, perennials and shrubs -- Salvia is the largest genus in the mint family (Lamiaceae or Labiatae). Salvias are noted for their mint-family traits of square stems and double-lipped, tubular flowers. Many are intoxicatingly fragrant. The genus contains about 900 species worldwide with its largest concentrations native to the Americas, the Mediterranean, Central Asia (including Turkey) and the Far East. Some plants from other Lamiaceae genuses are included in the A to Z list, because they are so closely related to Salvias that we tend to think of them as true sages.
The A to Z list encompasses single representatives of species as well as species for which we offer so many cultivars, such as the Autumn and Mountain Sages (Salvia greggii and S. microphylla spp.), that they have their own subcategory in the Special Salvia Groups part of our index.
Sages are endlessly fascinating due to their diversity. They offer a broad array of long-blooming, vibrantly colored flowers. Their leaves range from fuzzy to glossy with shapes and sizes varying from smooth lances tinier than the nail of a little finger to toothed, rumpled foliage broader and far longer than a man's hand. Many are perfect for dry, full-sun gardens while some do well in shady areas with excessive moisture. Sages save many a gardener facing difficult growing conditions.
(St. Charles Day Mountain Sage) Especially in spring and fall, masses of red-violet flowers bloom amid the silvery green foliage of Salvia microphylla 'San Carlos Festival'. Put this one into the "must have" column.
(Telegraph Avenue Dwarf Mountain Sage) Here’s another member of the Turbulent Sixties Series of Southwestern Mountain Sages (Salvia microphylla), which developed from one of nature’s rebels – an accidental hybrid that Monterey Bay Nursery (MBN) named ‘Berzerkeley’ after finding it taking a stand in the nursery’s gravel paving.
(Red Sage, Chinese Sage, Dan-shen) The bright red, finger-like roots of Salvia miltiorrhiza have a long history in traditional Chinese herbal medicine.
(Shangri-la Sage) Take a close look at Salvia moorcroftiana x indica ‘Shangri-la’ and you’ll notice that its lavender flowers have lighter lower lips with deep purple freckles.
(Royal Purple Autumn Sage) Salvia muelleri is related both to Autumn Sage (S. greggii) and Mountain Sage (S. microphylla), which are closely related species.
(Elk Blue Little Sage) if it were up to us, we would never have named this plant Little Sage. Although it is dainty, it is also one of the most fascinating species we grow. We particularly love its pebbly, oval leaves that are a shiny purple/green on top and a furry white below.
(Kyushu Woodland Sage) We are in love with this short forest sage from Kyushu, Japan. Its clusters of large creamy flowers pale as fresh-churned butter begin blooming in September. Even when not blooming, its foliage is showy in a shady garden.
(Formosan Woodland Sage or Tai wan qin zhu cao) A native of Taiwan, this Salvia nipponica grows well in hot, humid climates as well as milder locales.
(Himalayan Cloud Sage) Nepal's Muktinath Valley -- a sacred site for Hindus and Buddhists -- is the place to go to see this majestically tall shade perennial in the wild. It grows at altitudes up to 14,000 feet and often emerges while the ground is still snowy.
(Nodding Sage) "Dancing in the air" is how garden writer Joseph Tychonievich describes the tall, graceful flower spikes of Nodding Sage, which can tower up to 5 feet tall over the plant's 18-inch-tall foliage during the summer flowering season.
(Fuzzy Bolivian Sage) Large, bright and fuzzy, the cherry-licorice red flowers of this sage top what at first glance appears to be smooth, glassy green foliage. Up close, the large, lance-shaped leaves are velvety with clear-to-white hairs.
(Giant Purple Desert Sage) It’s best to plant this flamboyant native of the Southwest in spring or summer. However, once established, it tolerates winters from USDA Zones 5 to 9. Purple tubular flowers and burgundy bracts flare up its 10-inch flower spikes like flames on this softly rounded shrub.
(Cambridge Blue Gentian Sage) Cambridge Blue is one of the most famous varieties of Salvia patens, which was discovered in Central Mexico in 1838. Its powder blue flowers are delightful and cooling in the landscape.