Anthony Parker Sage
is a cross between Mexican Bush Sage and Pineapple sage and may be a bit more
S. melissodora or Grape Scented Sage is a
five to six foot tall open shrub. It is covered with small yet striking
light purple flowers from mid summer until frost. The leaves make a refreshing
tea and the flowers have the remarkable flavor of Grape Kool-Aid.
S. mellifera or Black Sage
is a sprawling brilliant green
leaved bush that can cover 15 feet or more in diameter, but reaches only about
three to four feet in height. It suffers from frost bite at about 12 degrees.
Black Sage is a California Native with similar but lighter pom-poms than Cleveland Sage.
Black Sage is one of the earliest blooming Salvias in the garden. It usually
starts blooming in late January and continues for about six weeks. It never
needs pruning or dividing. It can be pruned after flowering for shape. Highly aromatic and sticky, this bush is a good choice for covering
hillsides. It tops out at about four feet high but spreads over 10 feet wide.
Also, similar in
flower to Cleveland but resembling more the green shrubby appearance of
Black Sage is S. brandegii,
Island Black Sage which starts early and blooms until the heat
gets in the upper 90's.
S. microphylla or Baby Salvia has a most unique stem
growth. New branches are variegated in alternating patterns of black and white.
Vibrant red flowers and glossy green leaves make Baby Salvia an excellent choice to add to the garden.
S. microphylla Wild
Watermelon brings fragrance and abundant pink blooms that gardeners
and hummingbirds flip for. The S. microphylla group which also includes
Dennis' Pink and
Hot Lips are a little more tender
than the S. greggiis which includes S. greggii x
microphylla v grahamii Maraschino
Cherry Salvia and S. greggii x lemmonii
Raspberry Royal Salvia, Lavender Autumn
Texas Sage, Salmon Texas Sage
and Wild Thing Autumn Sage. Some
report that the S. microphylla group can tolerate zone 7 while the S. greggiis
may go to zone 6. These all bloom from spring until fall should be cut back in summer
(where summers are over 90) and late fall.
These are all evergreen
shrubs reaching between a two and four feet tall. Their colors range from
bicolor orange and yellows to deep reds and pastel peaches. They flower
early, and where temperatures stay below 90, they flower continuously until
frost or early winter. In hotter areas, their spring and fall bloom is
spectacular but they should be pruned in the summer and again in the winter
when the bloom is finished to form an agreeable shrub. Maraschino Cherry and
other S. greggii’s can be used, preferably dried, as seasoning and their
flowers are great for salads and garnishes. The
Variegated Autumn Sage does a
great job of lighting up partially shady areas. S. muelleri,
Royal Purple Sage, while not a true
Salvia greggii is very similar in form and flower but is an intense purple
not seen in S. greggii's.