Friday, February 11, 2011

Beautiful Flowers and Fragrant Foliage....Try This Lesser Known Plant

I have been enjoying sharing with you some of my favorite lesser-known plants.  These are plants that are not used enough in the landscape and can brighten up an otherwise boring landscape filled with over-used landscape plants such as Lantana, Dwarf Oleander, etc.  My last post featured the beautiful Valentine shrub.

I am very excited to talk about this lesser known plant.  Let me introduce you to Chaparral Sage (Salvia clevelandii).



Isn't it beautiful?

Years ago, I planted the Chaparral Sage above along with many others around a country clubhouse.  Their blue-purple flowers were a definite focal point in the spring time landscape.



The striking flowers begin to form in the spring and continue on into early summer.  

This shrub is native to San Diego county and performs well in in well-drained soil. 

Okay, like most of my favorite plants, this flowering shrub is low-maintenance.  There are also many other reasons that I think you should definitely try this out in your garden:
Hardy to 10 degrees F.   
And so mine is still green despite temps dipping into the low 20's this winter.

Has a beautiful, naturally round shape.  Only requires pruning by at least 1/2 its size in February and removal of spent flowers in the summer.
Hummingbirds will be congregating around the beautiful flowers.

Reaches a mature size of approximately 4' x 4'. 

Is hardy to 10 degrees F, which makes it suitable for both low and high desert locations.

The foliage is highly fragrant and is attractive even when not covered with flowers.

 

In the low deserts, it is wise to place the shrubs where they will receive filtered shade in the afternoons.  In high desert locations, they can be set out in full sun.

The foliage is quite fragrant and while most people enjoy its fragrance, some do not.  So, be sure to find a Chaparral Sage plant ahead of time to make sure that you enjoy the fragrance as much as I do before you buy some for your garden.

The fragrance is best enjoyed from a short distance, so I recommend not planting right next to walkways or windows.

Chaparral Sage looks great when planted near yellow, red or pink flowering plants.
I hope you will decide to try this shrub out in your garden.  I absolutely love mine.

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For those of you who are determined to be trendsetters in your garden, stay tuned for more lesser-known plants to try in your garden.

I will have a special announcement to make soon.....I just have to wait for notification of the official launch date :-)
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11 comments:

Darla said...

Another great plant here! It could have a garden all it's own and be stunning.

Daughter of the King said...

I want one!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I love this sage, and so do the bees. I have here I started from seed in the fall, and can't wait to see them bloom!

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Noelle it is just beautiful. Its blooms remind me of Bee Balm. You have it shaped so wonderful too. Have a great week.

Debbie said...

First of all, I love your blog- you teach me so much, thanks so much for that! This shrub is so beautiful! I'd love to put one in our backyard..hopefully we will do something with it soon. Can you describe what it smells like?..I'm looking forward to smelling one soon lol.

debsgarden said...

I don't know if it will grow here, but I do like sages and I have grown several kinds. I like the smell of sage. Does this one have the traditional sage smell? It is a beauty!

Desert Dweller said...

We often use Chaparral Sage in El Paso and Las Cruces, though I am told it also grows OK in Abq but declines in several years. What a beautiful, fragrant plant!

Nicole said...

I would love to grow these lovely lesser used drought tolerant plants-if only I can get them!

Muhammad khabbab said...

wow that plant should be in my garden as well. I hope it grows easily from seed.

Noelle said...

Hello all,

Debbie,
It is hard for me to describe the scent, but it definitely does have some traditional sage undertones.

I hope you try it out! Look for one in your local nursery and smell the leaves.

Thanks for your question :-)

Noelle

Brad said...

One of my favorite Ca natives. And I think it's a great idea that you're posting about lesser known plants. Too often when I offer to help friends with their yards I get the same 3 or 4 plants that they really love. And I can't help but groan. Not that the plants are bad, just that they are everywhere. Thanks for doing your part to add some variety.

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