Saturday, January 16, 2010

Russian Sage

Perovskia atriplicifolia
An upright, shrubby perennial, reaching up to 5 x 5 feet, that is native to Turkestan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is woody at the base and can spread below ground. While called Russian Sage, this plant has no relation to true Sage ( Salvia ). Russian Sage is not eaten by deer or insects, rarely bothered by disease.
The finely-textured, deeply-cut, narrow leaves, up to 2.4 x 1.2 inches, are gray-green. The foliage is aromatic when rubbed or cut.
The profuse, tiny, blue-violet, tubular flowers are borne in hazy looking spikes, up to 15 inches in length, from mid summer into early autumn. The flowers look great with Ornamental Grasses, Shasta Daisies, Nippon Daisies, Rudbeckia fulgida and Echinaceas.
The stems are whitish in color.
Hardy zones 4a to 9 in full sun ( tolerates partial shade ) on neutral to alkaline, very well drained soil. Tolerant of harsh climates, it even thrives in parts of Alberta, Canada. It does not like soil that is excessively wet during winter. Salt tolerant, making it an excellent choice for use in parking lot medians.
Moderately drought, clay and very heat tolerant, it loves hot dry sites. Prune back to 6 inches from ground level in late autumn or early spring. Not generally eaten by rabbits and deer.
Propagation is from softwood cuttings taken during late spring.
Pharmacology: leaves are sometimes smoked like tobacco for its euphoriant properties

* photos taken on 4th of July @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo of unknown internet source

* photos taken on Aug 3 2012 in London, ON

'Blue Mist'
Similar with pale blue flowers.

'Blue Spire'
Vigorous in habit, reaching up to 5 x 8 ( rarely over 4 x 4 ) feet, with deep blue flowers.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 ( 3 on protected sites )

* photos taken on Oct 5 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 4 2012 in Goderich, ON

Upright and bushy in habit, reaching up to 5 x 4 feet. The very attractive foliage is deeply cut and extremely fine textured. The blue flowers are borne mid-summer into early autumn.

* photo taken on May 16 2011 in Washington, D.C.

'Little Lace'
Very dense and compact in habit, reaching just 2 x 2 feet.
Hardy zones 4 to 8.

'Little Spires'
Compact and upright in habit, reaching up to 3.8 x 3 ( rarely over 2 ) feet. It is also nonsuckering unlike many other Perovskias.
The deeply cut gray foliage contrasts with deep violet flowers over a season of 15+ weeks from mid summer through mid autumn. It does not flop over - no pinching is needed.

* photo taken on July 1 2011 in Clarksville, MD

Dense in habit, reaching up to 6 feet or more, with stout erect stems.
The silvery-gray leaves are wider and less toothed than the species.
The violet flowers are borne mid summer into early autumn.

* photo taken on July 1 2011 in Columbia, MD

Upright in habit, reaching up to 5 x 3 feet, with deep sky-blue flowers contrasting nicely with the silvery foliage.

1 comment:

  1. Hola que tal, me ha encantado tu blog, hermosas plantas, pero esta en particular me gusta desde hace muchisimo tiempo y aqui no consigo, que suerte tienes de poder disfrutarla. SAludos Virginia