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.
(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.
(Straight Spike Sage) Covered with whorls of crimson flowers, this long-blooming, perennial sage has erect form. It matures into a tall, wide plant that is ideal for massing as a screen or at back of border.
(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.
(Blue Angel Gentian Sage) Since the 1838 discovery of this herbaceous species from Central Mexico, Salvia patens has been a mainstay of the perennial garden. Blue Angel is one of the smallest of the full-sized varieties.
(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.
(Dorset Lavender Gentian Sage) Large, deep lavender flowers shaped like parrot beaks make Salvia patens 'Chilcombe' distinctive in the Gentian Sage group, which is dominated by true blues.
(Dot's Delight Bicolor Gentian Sage) This sage turns heads, because its large, white and blue bicolored flowers make it a unique variety of Gentian Sage. Developed in the UK, Dot's Delight is less vigorous and less sun tolerant than other varieties of the species.
(Guanajuato Giant Gentian Sage) At 3 inches long, the flowers of this Gentian Sage are the largest of any we grow. Guanjuato Giant is also unique for its tall, upright growth and heavily textured foliage.
(Giant Gentian Sage) "Wow!" is what most people say when they see this large Gentian Sage from Central Mexico. Growing to 4 feet tall, it has long, graceful spikes of 3-inch deep, royal blue flowers that are highly visible and easily accessible to hummingbirds.
(Oxford Blue Gentian Sage) Only Salvia patens 'Blue Angel' comes close to the hard-to-believe, rich gentian blue of this sage from Mexico. Oxford Blue also grows taller and spreads wider than Blue Angel.
(Big Pitcher Sage) As its scientific name indicates, this sage has very large flowers. They are almost two-tone, changing from deep violet to a light blue or white at their base where they are cupped by dusky purple calyxes.
(Bolivian Sage) From early Spring to first frost, brilliant scarlet flowers on spikes up to 18 inches long adorn this Bolivian native in USDA Zones 9 to 11. Even if you live in a zone with colder winters, Bolivian Sage is spectacular as a bedding plant. has been called Salvia coccinea on steroids due to its . needs rich, well-drained soil and full sun - but will grow in a wide range of soil, water and light conditions.
(False Tropical Sage) Sometimes plant naming is complicated. Such is the case with Salvia pseudococcinea, which is known by a number of scientific and common names. Sometimes it is called Salvia coccinea var. pseudococcinea.
(El Butano Downy Sage) El Butano is a horticulturally rich area of Cumbres de Monterrey National Park in the mountains of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. El Butano Downy Sage was discovered in this area where it grows at elevations of 4,500 to 8,000 feet.
(Nuevo Leon Downy Sage) From the high mountains of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. This unusual variety has very large flowers in loose clusters. Early to bloom and more cold tolerant than other Downy Sage varieties, it is ideal for gardens on the edge of it's climatic adaptability.