Friday, October 24, 2014

Autumn Sage

Salvia greggii, Autumn Moon, Autumn Sage, desert garden, desert plant, desert plants, flowering desert plants, southwestern plants

Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) is one of many salvias suitable for hot, dry climates.  Shown here is the first Autumn Sage in my garden, the variety "Autumn Moon".  Bitone flowers are pale to darker lavender pink with a pleasant warm cast to the color; fresh green leaves are rounded and have a light, clean scent not at all like that of their classic culinary cousin, S. officinalis. The plant is, thus far, neatly mounded and quite attractive.

I found that the branches snapped easily so a little care should be taken when planting.

Salvia greggii, Autumn Moon, Autumn Sage, Desert garden, Desert plantThe tiny buds are deep pink...

Both Judy Mielke in her Native Plants for Southwestern Landscapes as well as The New Sunset Western Garden Book (see bibliography) recommend some shade for Salvia greggii varieties in low desert conditions.  They will also need some supplemental watering; certainly my little "Autumn Moon" is requiring daily water as it settles in (it's also just coming into full bloom).  These plants are, however, natives of the western US and are said to be generally drought-tolerant.  I have planted mine in a bed just next to the patio roof.  Here it will receive afternoon shade and a little more water and can grow with other plants of similar cultural requirements.

Salvia greggii, Autumn Moon, Autumn Sage, desert plant, desert garden

Its blooms and foliage are a very cheerful addition to the autumn garden.

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