Agastache ‘Lilac Moon’

Cool bicolored Hummingbird Mint that has masses of flowers that appear from orange buds which quickly change to luminous light lavender when open. To 30″ tall and forming a clump this very, very, long blooming perennial is delightful for hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. A soft pastel coloration that pairs wonderfully with light yellow flowers and even blue. Great in seasonal containers. Blooms non-stop from June to October. Do not remove flower spikes as new flowers will appear continuously from the same spike. Rich, WELL DRAINED soil with light, consistent summer water. Its best to water Agastaches consistently during their first year in the ground- to establish a large root system. Ideal on slopes- to assist in drainage in winter. Double dig soil to incorporate lots of oxygen in the soil.  One of our favorite introductions. An amazing combination of flower colors on a single plant. Do not cut back until new growth has flushed out in spring and all threat of a hard freeze has passed.

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Agastache ‘Berry Princess’

We believe this to be a cross inheriting some of the coloration of A. auranticus as well as A. cana. To 28″ tall this clump forming, everblooming perennial brings bright red buds that open to purple flowers. The colorful combination lasts all summer into autumn. New flowers are born on the same spikes so do not remove. Moderate consistent water through the first summer to establish. Double dig soil to incorporate oxygen into the soil and aid in irrigation to the roots. Established plants get by with a little less. Loved by hummers and  pretty decent cutfower as well. Full all day sun for best performance, will not be quite as floriferous in part shade. Sweetly scented foliage is an extra benefit. To 18″ wide and slowly increasing. Excellent on berms as well as slopes. Mulch in fall.  Small rosette of winter foliage is protected by the previous years defunct stems. Prune these away after all threat of a hard freeze has passed.

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Agastache ‘Electric Punch’

One of our all-time best introductions ‘Electric Punch’ is a floral powerhouse of a hummingbird mint with exceptional adaptation to our cold and wet winters. Rising to 34″ tall in bloom, a clump can become enormous in rich, WELL DRAINED soil with light, consistent summer water. Also, accepts no water but with interruptions in bloom. Incorporate plenty of oxygen into the soil and slopes are ideal. Do not remove flower spikes during the season- new orange aging to pink flowers appear from the same inflorescence. Best to wait until spring to cut back the previous seasons defunct stems. Moderate deer resistance.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Agastache ‘Mandarin Dream’

This is our selection of an improved form of the species Agastache auranticus. It has deeper orange flowers on taller stems and exhibits excellent winter/cold/wet hardiness. To 30″ tall, the vivid blooms erupt from June to October. Tightly clump forming perennial whose tall wand-like stems require more horizontal room as well. Hummingbird Mint excels in very well-drained soils with consistent, light summer water. Full sun- you can fudge in light shade and still get results. Remove the previous seasons spent stems in March. Agastache are plants that like oxygen in the soil and they often seed themselves happily between large stones. They appreciate soil that is rich but permeable at all times. We advise to wait until March to remove the previous year’s stem. The hollow stems that remain over winter actually provide oxygen to the roots. If you cut them back too early (Fall, winter) you also leave the new growth at the base unprotected from the elements. So, the stems should remain to both give the plant oxygen and protect the next seasons clump of foliage. Double dig the soil heartily and add a little compost and even pumice if your soil is stingy. Water regularly for the first season to establish a large root system which will require less H20 in subsequent years. This is a vibrant orange that mixes well with deep purples and blues.

Xera Plants Introduction. 

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Agastache ‘Rainbow Sorbet’

One of our larger growing introductions this is a flowering machine with large individual flowers that open pale orange and senesce to pale pink. Overall this is a pastel flower palette. To 36″ tall and as wide in full sun and well drained soil with light, consistent summer water. Agastaches are excellent as container subjects- they will accept the most cramped roots and still perform. Wait until March to remove the previous years spent stems. Give this guy room. Hummingbird nirvana. Good winter hardiness.

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Agastache ‘Xera Flame’

Our selection of a compact and free flowering cold hardy Hummingbird mint with intense dark orange flowers. Blooms June to October and they rise on spikes to 18″ tall. Does not flop- great for smaller spaces. Regular summer water in well drained, enriched soil. Excellent on slopes which improves winter drainage which increases cold hardiness. Full sun to very light shade. Irresistible to pollinators. Blooms appear from the same spikes all season- do not remove. Wait to cut it back until spring. Then remove dead top growth to make way for the new growth that is pushing from below.

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Agastache pallida ssp. neomexicana

Cute flowering hyssop that makes a clump of strongly vertical stems clad at the tips with soft mauve/purple flowers. A boon to pollinators as well as hummingbirds. Blooms June to October continuously from the same spikes. To 18″ tall and barely half as wide. Agastaches like light soil. Double dig the soil well to incorporate oxygen and apply a handful of all organic fertilizer at planting. This will establish the plant much faster. Excellent performance on slopes where it achieves the drainage that it likes. Middle of the border or massed in a meadow- this easy to grow perennial performs for a long time. Do not cut back until after Valentine’s Day. Consistent water for the first summer then light water in subsequent years. Excellent performance in mixed container plantings. Moderate deer resistance. Foliage is sweetly pungent.

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Calamintha nepeta ‘Montrose White’

Wow- one of the best perennials that we grow. Easy to grow, so useful, pretty and even a nice edible that we enjoy in summer iced teas. A dome shaped perennial that is virtually everblooming. Clouds of tiny white flowers are absolutely LOVED by pollinators of every kind. A well grown clump in bloom is a buzzing fountain of activity. Blooms May to September unabated. Full sun, rich to average well drained soil with light but consistent summer irrigation. Full sun. The fine white clouds of flowers work well as filler in borders or as a low cloud supporting taller flowers. Winter deciduous. Loved by the kitties. To 2′ tall and 2′ wide in a single season. Cold hardy and low water. Exceptional plant. See video below. No other plant we grow is as popular with pollinators as this. Takes a second for the video to load.

 

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Clerodendrum trichotomum

Glorybower. Iconic in the city of Portland this small umbrella shaped tree lines streets and populates gardens throughout the city. Late summer brings masses of white flowers held in a red calyx that perfume the area for many blocks with a sweet jasmine fragrance. Following the flowers the calyx swells to a red star and a turquoise blue berry forms. To 16′ tall moderately fast in full sun and rich soil with regular summer irrigation. Avoid disturbance around established trees which can cause it to sucker annoyingly. Large tropical leaves have the fragrance of peanut butter when bruised. Little to no fall color. Japan.

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Dracocephalum austriacum ‘Fuji Blue’

Immensely showy perennial that puts on a stellar mid summer show of soft blue relatively large flowers. Spreading to 2′ wide in full sun and rich well drained soil this mint relative sends 18″ spikes of outward facing light blue tubular flowers in June-July. Loved by pollinators and gardeners alike. Easy to grow plant that is cold hardy and long lived. Great for blazing hot hellstrips, sunny rock gardens, the front of borders. Light summer water- becomes surprisingly drought tolerant with age. Completely winter deciduous.

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Lamium maculatum ‘Aureum’

This golden form of dead nettle is surprisingly vigorous and makes a glowing small scale ground cover. Mostly evergreen- unless it drops below 15ºF. From early spring to fall a continuous supply of spikes of light purple flowers. Each leaf is decked with a silver chevron. Part shade to full sun with regular summer water. To 6″ tall and 2′ wide when happy. Add a yearly layer of compost to increase vigor. A wonderful plant for lighting up the garden. Moderate deer resistance.

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Lavandula angustifolia ‘Miss Katherine’

You don’t often think of lavender flowers in the color of pink, but this compact heavily flowering selection produces masses of clear pink flower spikes for months in summer. Mixed with purple and white flowered varieties and you get much more depth of contrast. The purple and white both look better. Compact gray foliaged shrub for average, well drained soil and light summer water. Full sun. To 2′ tall in bloom the foliage usually maxes out at a globe 14″ x 14″ . Cut back hard after blooming for a denser more compact plant. Fragrant flowers, foliage. Moderate deer resistance. Very easy to grow. Hedges, specimen. Etc.

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Lavandula angustifolia ‘Pastor’s Pride’

When you have a small garden you want to get as much bang for your buck as possible. Enter this great cultivar of English Lavender that blooms not just once but over and over again until frost. Medium lavender blue flowers cluster at the top of straight wiry stems to 10″ long. A naturally compact plant to about 2′ x 2′ ultimately. Silver evergreen aromatic foliage. Rich, to average well drained soil in full sun with light summer water. Somewhat drought adapted. Looks better , re-blooms better with light water. Saches, Lavender wands, potpourri- everblooming fragrant hedge. Very good Pastor. Very good.

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Lavandula stoechas

Spanish lavender is a floriferous and easy to grow shrub for full sun, well drained soil and little to no summer water when established. In mid spring to mid summer thick purple flowers have two protruding purple petal-like bracts from the top. Great contrast with the silver foliage. to 2′ x 2′ in a season. Cut back hard after blooming. Often self sows, seedlings are easy to spot (and smell). Moderate deer resistance. Lifespan 3-5 years.

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Lavandula x lanata ‘Ana Luisa’

So many lavenders that we’ve decided to go with the very best. This hybrid is a cross between english lavender (L. angustifolia) and wooly lavender (L. lanata) and gives you wonderful almost white wooly foliage with deep purple thick flowers. To 2′ tall and 2′ wide in time this rounded evergreen shrub blooms for an incredibly long time beginning in early summer. Full sun and rich to average soil with light but consistent summer water.  Very easy to grow in our climate. Shear the spent flower spikes and cut into about 1/2″ new growth for a compact and more densely blooming habit. Excellent landscape plant, informal hedge or specimen in a border. This Lavender looks good year round- better winter appearance than most. Lightly deer resistant. Not their first choice but not 100% immune to browse either. Aromatic foliage. Wonderful white foliage contrasts greatly with deep green foliage for depth in plantings.

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Monardella macrantha ‘Marian Sampson’

Shockingly showy little perennial wildflower that display relatively huge brilliant red tubular flowers from a somewhat demure plant. Deep green/maroon foliage is aromatic but gives no hint at the ultimate showiness of the flowers. Blooms appear continuously from late spring to autumn. Very well drained soil of moderate fertility in full sun. Light summer water but occasional deep soaks spurs flowers. Hummingbirds actually get down to ground level for this 3″ tall by 14″ wide matt forming perennial. Good drainage aids in cold hardiness for this striking California native wildflower. Exceptional and long blooming in containers.

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Nepeta cataria ‘Citriodora’

Something for the kitties! Beautiful form of catmint with rounded, and quilted sage green foliage and clusters of violet blue flowers held in a little deep purple calyx. Massive bloom in May and June, shear off spent flowers and water and wah lab a new batch of sublime blue erupts quickly. Full sun and rich to average well drained soil. In our climate it shuns dry heavy clay so drainage is an issue. Forms a clump that spreads considerably. To 2′ x 2′ in an average season. Light consistent summer moisture. Completely winter deciduous. Loved by cats who consume and  then laugh and laugh.

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Origanum libanoticum

From the middle East (Syria, Lebanon) this hop flowered species of Origanum has been a stalwart performer in our climate. Low and spreading stems create hop shaped structures that house the little protruding hot pink flowers. The hops are mostly light green but can take on pink tints. They are fully pendulous and the best way to display this plant is to site it on the edge of a precipice or wall or from the side of a container. To 8″ tall and 2′ wide when happy. Rich, well drained soil with light summer water. Begins blooming in May and continues unabated to September. One of the parents of several popular hybrids but we like the straight species quite a bit- it seems tougher. Graceful. Dies to a very low mound of foliage in winter. Cut back the previous seasons dead stems in early spring. Cold hardy and very showy.

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Origanum x ‘Bristol Cross’

Unusual hybrid that has created some striking effects for an ornamental oregano. Distinctly upright stems to 2′ tall, beginning in June groups of up and outwards facing pink small hope like structures bear tiny violet pink flowers. Bloom goes on virtually for months and even when officially done these “hops” remain and change to a deep madder red. A large plant with dozens of upright stems bearing these remnants of flowers is really cool. Full sun and rich, well drained soil. Consistent light watering. Detach the whole stem from the base as a long lasting unusual cut flower. Dies to a low rosette of leaves in winter. Cut back the dead remaining upright stems in spring. Cold hardy. Photo credit: Grace Peterson- thanks Grace.

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Origanum x ‘Xera Cascade’

A chance hybrid announced itself in our nursery with these insanely long hop flowered blooms. A low spreading perennial with distinctively blue foliage. In summer many, many stems emerge bearing clusters of flowers. They are shaped like long skinny hop fruits with tiny violet flowers that protrude through the layers of the hop structure. That structure is remarkable. Taking on purple and blue tints it begins to elongate and doesn’t stop until its fully 4″ long. They come in multitudes- this plant lives to bloom. Full sun and rich, well drained soil with light summer water. To 1′ tall and 2 wide in a season. The floral display goes on well into fall. Place near a wall where it will happily cascade. Excellent in large containers. Hardy and easy to grow. Cut back old material in early spring. A new low batch of foliage will already be present.

Xera Plants Introduction.

Photo credit: Chris Hembree

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Phlomis (anitolica) ‘Lloyd’s Variety’

Aka Jerusalem Sage. This is a very compact but floriferous form of this evergreen perennial/subshrub. To 3′ x 5′ and forming a dome of thick gray/green foliage. In summer spikes extend and display yellow flowers in whorls around the stem. Very symmetrical and loved by pollinators. Surprisingly up close it is very fragrant reminding me somewhat of the sweet clovey scent of Dianthus. Long, blooming for 4-6 weeks. Full hot sun and rich to average well drained soil. Ideal on hot slopes. Light summer water aids vigor but it can take very dry conditions once established. Easy to grow, long lived plant. Mix with other hot sun dwellers and other mediterranean natives. Moderate deer resistance.  Evergreen.

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Phlomis aurea

Wow, a species with golden leaves. Not variegation. How cool is that and it is a cool old gold color that the felted thick leaves glow. Rounded evergreen shrub to 30″ tall and 3′ wide forming a dome. In summer whorls of large yellow flowers surround the stems and kind of blend in with the foliage. Wonderful year round appearance. A plant I nominate as #1 Hellstrip plant of the year. It thrives in the heat reflected off the asphalt and it requires absolutely no water whatsoever when established. Plant for foliage and the flowers will follow. Glows in the dead of winter. Moderate deer resistance.

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Phlomis fruticosa ‘Quilted Leaf’

A really handsome and unique form of Jerusalem Sage. The large gray leaves are spongy and quilted and good looking all the time. This woody perennial forms a large spreading plant to 4′ tall and 5′ wide in full sun and rich to average well drained soil. Regular light summer water- to establish then drought adapted. Very drought adapted when established. Blooms June to August in our climate and makes a great paring with smaller low water full sun woody shrubs such as Cistus or Ceanothus. The whorls of soft yellow flowers born on upright stems have the sweet fragrance of cloves in close proximity. A very cool cut flower that lasts for more than a week in a vase. Loses some leaves in winter- gets them back quickly in spring. Wonderful on sunny hillsides. Moderate deer resistance. This form will often have a re-bloom with the return of fall rain. Give it room to spread out horizontally.

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Prostanthera cuneata

Australian Alpine Mint Bush is a great, dense, low growing evergreen shrub for full sun and a warm position. The small aromatic foliage is glossy and tightly congested on the stems. In late spring relatively large (compared to the leaves) cupped white flowers have an interior dotted with purple. Easy to grow shrub in average well drained soil. To 2′ x 3′ in 5 years. Avoid the coldest gardens. Hardy in correct siting to 5ºF. Forms a low weed smothering layer. Moderately fast growing. Light summer water. Moderate deer resistance.

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Prunella vulgaris var. lanceolata

When you’ve given up all hope, When you think nothing will grow there enter this rugged, pioneering native to the rescue. Infamous for its weedy introduction have you ever had a close look at our own NATIVE populations? They yield truly showy flowers that are large cones with relatively large velvet purple flowers protruding. They make a great cut flower too. Found from the arctic to the tropics on North America. This form is genetically native stock. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in virtually any soil. Not as rambunctious as you would think but not a shrinking plant either. Very wild appearance and we like it. One of the first wildflowers that I recognized as a child, and when I was introduced much later to the weedy type I was sorely disappointed. Responds to regular water by blooming continuously. Reacts to withering drought by becoming limp and sometimes crisps. It always comes back. Mostly evergreen in our climate. To 6″ tall in bloom otherwise prostrate. Bees adore this plant. Aka Lanceleaf Selfheal. A good native weed. Oregon native plant.

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Rabdosia (Isodon) longituba

I can’t imagine my garden in autumn now without this crazy late blooming blue, blue blue perennial. To 6 ‘x 6’ long stems terminate in clouds of bright blue guppy shaped flowers beginning in mid-October and continuing usually until the first hard freeze- often mid-December in the city. Part shade in deep rich moisture retentive soil. Kind of a quiet plant until autumn and then holy shit. Clouds of blue guppies people. Clouds of blue guppies. Often it gets yellow fall color simultaneously with this display. Incredible cut flower at a weird time of the year. Regular water all through summer. This plant gets big, big, big. Perfectly hardy to cold way below zero. So happy I found you Rabdosia now Isodon which sounds more like a freaking Dinosaur than a groovy late fall blooming perennial.

 

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After almost 30 years of selling plants I can say that usually the first plant to go into a garden is Rosemary. And why not? It loves our climate. Its drought tolerant beyond measure and heck its even edible. And that fragrance. One thing you might not think of is winter flowers. This form from an ancient plant that has unique flowers. From September to June it is alight in clouds of soft violet blue flowers. Flowers all winter! Excellent as a specimen or hedge. This cold hardy variety can inhabit the coldest gardens. And my god there is always pork. To 3′ tall x 5′ wide in 10 years. Full sun and average soil that drains. Light to little summer water required. Moderate deer resistance. Salvia rosmarinus

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This beautiful, deep sky blue flowered rosemary we found planted at a 100 year old farmhouse in Milwauke, OR. The flowers are scintillating and this plant- installed in the early 1980’s, has proven longevity as well. To 3′ tall by 5′ wide eventually. Blooms appear unabated from autumn to summer. Vigorous evergreen shrub with an upright and then spreading habit. Full sun and no water necessary once established. It can take light, regular water in summer as well. Otherwise, it thrives on only what fall from the sky. A very showy winter blooming shrub for hot locations, south facing hillsides, adjacent to walls, asphalt anywhere another less heat durable plant would fry. Moderate deer resistance. Pungently aromatic and great for culinary use. Prune- if needed, in late spring following bloom. Blooms on wood from the previous season. This variety would make an admirable upright, clipped hedge. Named by and for our friend Carol. Thanks Carol. Salvia rosmarinus.

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Rosmarinus (Salvia) officinalis ‘Gorizia’

A really good and kind of rare form of Rosemary that was selected for much broader and larger leaves. Which makes it ideal for culinary use. The intense pine scent that pervades the whole evergreen shrub is delightful. Makes me think of pork. Heh. Upright growing cultivar that easily achieves 4′ x 4′ in 5 years. Pale blue flowers are prolific from September to May- peaking in midwinter. Full sun and average, well drained soil. Light summer water then none when established. Takes very well to pruning. This form is especially cold hardy and survives temperatures down to 0ºF easily. Excellent specimen, winter blooming component to a dry border, or an herb garden. Incredibly tough long lived cultivar. Moderate deer resistance. Syn. Salvia rosmarinus

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Rosmarinus (Salvia) officinalis ‘Hardy Prostrate Form’

You might be surprised to find that some Rosemaries are tender to cold. In general the clones of prostrate forms are less hardy. This is cuttings from a low growing plant that has weathered the coldest winters of the past 10 years- so we’re confident its reliable. Mounding evergreen shrub to 2′ tall x 6 wide in time. The branches closely follow the contours of anything in its path and is fetching as it trails over rock walls, boulders, anything that gets in the way. Soft blue flowers almost year round but peaking in the winter. Little water needed once established in soil that drains. Water to establish or to speed growth. Wonderful herb for cooking. Takes the hottest, most blasting sites with no stress. Moderate deer resistance. Excellent on steep slopes as it will root where stems touch the ground- important for erosion control. Very pretty planted with yellow flowered Grevillea  juniperina ‘Molonglo’. Similar cultural conditions and concurrent bloom. Syn Salvia rosmarinus). Full hot sun.

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Rosmarinus (Salvia) officinalis ‘Majorca Pink’

We can’t all have ordinary blue flowered Rosemary. Not when there are options. This upright growing very aromatic selection has surprised us with its hardiness to cold. To 3′ x 3′ in 5 years in average to poor, well drained sites. Full sun. This happy shrub displays small but profuse red/pink flowers from September to March and often later than that. Excellent culinary use. Extremely drought tolerant. Little water once established. Great form for topiary. Very pretty in bloom. Foliage is smaller and a distinctive gray green. Moderate deer resistance. Salvia rosmarinus

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Hard to believe that Rosemary has been officially lumped into the genus Salvia. (Sigh). Its still a wonderful shrub and this variety delights us with the MOST luminous blue flowers that we’ve seen on a hardy variety. The effect is similar to the slightly tender cultivar ‘Tuscan Blue’. Each flower is luminous and they obscure the leaves for most of winter into spring. Upright growing cultivar that spreads with time. To 4′ tall x 4′ wide in short order. Full sun and soil that drains with little summer water once established. It will take moderate irrigation as well but we like to rely on the iron clad drought resistance of this culinary herb. Mix with Arctostaphylos, Grevilleas for a shrubby winter blooming party. Very easy to grow. Nice informal or even clipped dense hedge. Develops a handsome gnarled trunk with time. Moderate deer resistance. Salvia rosmarinus.

 

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Salvia ‘San Carlos Festival’

Always on the lookout for cold and wet tolerant Salvias, this one has been a winner. Forms a woody structure topped by lush light green foliage. Beginning in July and continuing until frost hot magenta pink flowers appear again and again. Loved by hummingbirds  and all sorts of pollinators. Incredibly long blooming plant that gets by on a minimum amount of water each summer. Very well drained rich soil. Regular summer water speeds growth and makes a bigger plant that is ultimately hardier to cold. Laughs at the reflected heat of hellstrips. To 2′ x 2′ in a season. Regenerates from the roots following a hard winter. Cut back in early spring.

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Salvia barrelieri

We love North African Sage from the higher elevations of Morocco it performs beautifully in our climate. A rosette of low large sage green leaves is your first clue that this is a cool species. In summer 4′ spikes in whorls of blue and white flowers are spectacular. The blooms last a long time (6-8 weeks) and are awesome for cutting and including in huge, wild flower arrangements. Forms large clumps in time and there will be more and more flowers. Full sun, rich, well drained soil with regular summer water to establish after which light to little summer water is necessary in our climate. Very easy to grow and cold hardy. May self sow in open disturbed sites. Great Salvia but surprisingly difficult to find.

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Salvia cohuilensis ‘Nuevo Leon’

This may be a simple species but since we acquired it with this cultivar name I am loathe to change it until I am perfectly sure. A hardy long blooming Salvia that can become fairly woody with time but also spreads underground by stolons to form expanding patches. Full sun, very well drained rich soil with regular summer water. Thrives in the reflected heat of the hellstrip. To 1′ tall and 2′ wide in 5 years. Do not cut back until new growth pushes in spring. Flowers are deep purple/blue and appear from spring to autumn taking a break during 100ºF stretches. Aromatic foliage. Hummingbird favorite. Light summer water.’

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Salvia gregii ‘ Rossetto’

Excellent seedling of ‘Playa Rosa’ with deep clear pink flowers for months and increased cold hardiness. To 20″ x 20″ in a season this is a ‘woody’ sage that forms a small shrub. The vivid pink flowers begin in late May and continue to frost. It takes a break from blooming in extreme heat (above 95ºF) but flowers return when cooler air arrives. Full hot sun to part shade in rich, WELL DRAINED soil. A slope is ideal- especially if it faces south. Light, consistent summer water, speeds growth, establishment and spurs rounds of bloom. Loved by hummingbirds and butterflies. Do not cut back until early spring- when all signs of a hard freeze have passed. It may be cut back hard then and will quickly erupt into a blooming machine. Great in seasonal containers. ‘Rossetto’ is lipstick in Italian. Thanks to my friend Ann Amato for the name.

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Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Huge roaming and dramatic Salvia for full sun and VERY well drained conditions. Rich soil sends this 6′ tall by 4′ wide perennial soaring. Large clusters of royal blue flowers each held in a jet black calyx. Great affect. Full sun to light shade with regular summer water. Dies out in heavy cold soils. Locate in a warm site. Spreads by underground runners. Loved by hummingbirds. Blooms July to October or later if its frost free. Do not cut back until new growth appears in spring. Dies completely to the ground with the first hard freeze. Mulch in colder zones.

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Salvia microphylla ‘Flower Child’

This species has yielded some very good cold and wet tolerant cultivars. This selection from Monterey Bay Nursery in Watsonville, CA has proved to be one of the best performers. Masses of outward facing candy pink flowers swarm the stems of this large, semi-woody Salvia. The flowers begin in May and continue unabated to frost. This is a very good hue of pink, very mixeable with other colors without clashing. To 2′ tall x 2′ wide in a single season. Well drained soil of rich to average fertility. Double dig the soil before planting to incorporate oxygen and improve drainage as well as water permeability. It excels on slopes in full all day sun with just light summer water. Flowers continue through the hottest weather- good trait in our climate where many others take a break in in the mid to upper 90’s. Drought adapted when established. Do not cut back until new growth emerges in spring- then it can be taken back by 2/3rd. New growth will erupt from semi-woody stems around the base and you are up and running. Herbaceous below about 15ºF. Returns from the base if established. Hummers, butterflies, chicks without bras dancing around like nymphs. Its got it all. Moderate deer resistance.

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This is red, no pink, very little orange, true blasting red. Our employee Chris thought we needed it and after observation I heartily agree. Bushy semi-woody perennial to 30″ x 30″ for full sun and rich well drained soil. A slope is best. Blooms unabated from May to frost. It takes a break in temperatures above 97º but resumes blooming with a cool down. This is redder ( with no white) than Hot lips with very large flowers in deeply colored calyxes. We have been impressed with the cold and wet tolerance of Salvia microphylla. Of utmost importance is to refrain from cutting them back until all danger of frost has passed, then you can go for it and regrowth to bloom is rapid. Obviously a hummingbird attractant. They stake them out, they fight and its all good fun. Long blooming Light deer resistance. Drought adapted when established.

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Salvia muelleri

This purple flowered royal sage has impressed us for years with its hardiness to cold, true purple flowers and tolerance of cold winter wet. A loose spreading perennial that adorns its tips with royal purple flower from June to frost. Never dense it prefers full hot sun and very well drained soils and light but consistent summer water. To 18″ tall by 2′ wide in time. Do not cut back until new growth pushes in spring. It needs a woody framework of branches to protect the overwintering crown. Takes blasting hot conditions. Moderate deer resistance.

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Salvia nutans

Nodding Sage. There is no Salvia quite like this remarkable species from the mid-asian steppes. A basal rosette of large leaves supports towering 4′ stems that erupt from the center of leaves. In May-August each stem hosts multiple nodding clumps of extremely showy blue flowers. Elegant, beautiful and hardy. Forms increasing clumps in rich to average well drained soil in full sun to very light shade. Appreciates good drainage and light consistent summer water. The blue flowers are a magnet for pollinators and they swarm en masse. Excellent and groovy cut flower for large arrangements. Otherwise a stellar perennial for borders, even rock gardens. Completely winter deciduous. Blooms a long time. A Xera Plants favorite perennial.

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Salvia transylvanica

Excellent, cold hardy, easy to grow, showy blue Salvia that can be hard to find. Forms a rosette of large felted deep green leaves and in summer multiple candelabras of rich blue flower spikes appear. They are wonderful for weeks. If you remove spent spikes more will appear. Blooms (re-blooms) until September. Full sun, in rich well drained soil. Rises to 30″ in bloom and forms spreading clumps to as wide in several years. Wonderful border Salvia as it accepts regular water and rich conditions. Completely deciduous in winter. Emerges mid-spring- protect new growth from marauding slugs. Once its up thats much less of a problem. Combine with Lobelia tupa, Kniphofia ‘Lightning Bug’. Easy and spectacular. Loved by hummingbirds and pollinators.

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Salvia uliginosa

Swamp sage is actually very tolerant of dry to average conditions. This special sage from South America is surprisingly cold hardy and is a large reliable perennial. 6′ tall wand-like stems terminate in rows of sky blue flowers. There is a white nectary guide on the lower lip. Forms semi-woody clumps that expand at a moderate rate to about 2′ across. Freezes to the ground below about 20ºF but is root hardy near 0ºF. Rich to average soil with regular irrigation through summer. Full sun to very light shade. Blooms appear from early June to early autumn. Excellent in the back of a border or swimming in a sea of large ornamental grass. The medium green leaves are elongated with indentation and rise up along the stem. One of the easiest and showiest of sages. Nice cut flower. Moderate deer resistance.

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Salvia x ‘Christine Yeo’

Very good Salvia that blooms non-stop medium purple flowers for months in summer well into autumn. Tall growing to 3′ and somewhat wispy. A possible hybrid with the blue flowered Salvia chamaedryoides. Hummingbirds love this free blooming hardy perennial. Freezes to the ground below the mid 20’s. Returns from the base in spring. Rich, WELL DRAINED soil in full sun. Drainage in winter is the key. Add some pumice and gravel to the planting hole and water consistently to this plant good and established. Do not cut back in the spring until you actually see new growth pushing. Then remove all the dead material. Regains stature quickly in spring.

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Salvia x ‘Playa Rosa’

A chance seedling in our nursery has yielded a stupendous semi shrubby incredibly long blooming Salvia. Large soft lavender pink flowers are born en masse on a the 2′ x 2′ woody frame this plant produces in rich, well drained soil in a hot position. The flowers begin in May and continue through summer- including during the hottest temperatures (good job!) Loved by hummingbirds  butterflies and savvy gardeners. Seems to relish reflected heat + sharp drainage. Light summer water. Do not cut back until new growth pushes in spring.

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Salvia x ‘Silke’s Dream’

Brilliant and tall and hardy (!) Salvia that blooms continuously from late June usually up until frost. Large spikes of large tubular flowers are a curious hue. We’ve decided on Melon Red. How’s that for marketing? Other people say orange and still others scream red. The picture we have is the true color. To 30″ tall from a woody base. Not a real dense plant- kind of airy actually and benefits by having a more handsome plant in front. Hummingbirds die for this plant. Rich, WELL DRAINED soil in full sun with regular summer water. If it gets tired looking in mid summer simply give it a hair cut and water it and boom! Back at ’em. Do not cut back the plant in fall or winter- that will make it much less hardy to cold. Instead remove dead top growth when new growth emerges- usually around mid-April. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast.

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Salvia x chamaedryoides ‘Marine Blue’

Always on the lookout for the latest and bluest Salvia. Well this one fits the bill. Sage green foliage shaded with gray on an upright semi-woody shrub to 2′ tall. Beginning in mid summer and continuously until frost a procession of deep ultramarine blue flowers. Remove spent flower spikes and more will return. Blue, oh, so blue. Full hot sun in a hot position in rich, WELL DRAINED SOIL. No boggy in winter or we freeze and die. Freezes back to the ground in all but the mildest winters (above 25ºF). Do not cut back in spring until you see positive new growth pushing then eliminate the dead material. Sun and good drainage. Light summer water.

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Salvia x jamensis ‘California Sunset’

These hybrids come in such wonderful colors. This dashing Sage displays light orange flowers on tall stems from spring well into autumn. Forms a semi-woody shrub and relishes good drainage and hot locations. Great seasonal container plant as well. Best way to grow this Salvia is to double dig the soil to incorporate oxygen and then berm it up a bit. Plant and water faithfully all summer to spur bloom as well as increase the plants mass and establishment. This will ensure a sturdy plant going into winter. I wait to prune it back in spring until all danger of frost has past. In these conditions it will endure our coldest winters with no problem. Hell strip loving plant to 30″ x 30″. Hummingbird plant. Long blooming. Light deer resistance.

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Salvia x microphylla ‘La Trinidad Pink’

This species of semi-woody Salvia has produced some of the best for our climate. Shocking pink, relatively large flowers decorate the upward stems of this vigorous and long blooming perennial. To 26″ tall and forming a semi-woody shrub. In essence it is a subshrub which is woody with time but capable of freezing to the ground and returning from the base. The vivid flowers appear from May to frost and are a delight for pollinators, hummingbirds and pink-o-philes. Full, hot sun in a warm position in rich, WELL DRAINED SOIL. Double dig the soil before planting to incorporate oxygen and make it easier for water to reach the roots. Do not prune back in spring until you see new growth. Either from the tips or the base depending on how cold the previous winter. Cut back hard then and it will zoom back to its former stature in no time. Hot sunny places, hell strips, containers. Excellent on hot slopes.

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Scutellaria suffrutescens

Texas Cherry Skullcap is a wildflower with a mission. To conquer and bloom – not just a little but in sheets for all of summer with no supplemental irrigation. And I’ll be damned if it doesn’t do that. Forms lows domes to 5″ high by 1′ wide and is smothered in cherry pink flowers from June well into autumn. Rich to average well drained soil and occasional  summer irrigation. Cut back in spring after new growth has commenced. Full all day sun, reflected heat and not much else.

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Stachys coccinea ‘Coral’

For flowers in this genus this is THE plant. Upright growing plant from a clump that rises to 2′ and produces multiple spikes of bright coral colored flowers. They are arranged in symmetrical whorls up the stem. Loved by hummingbirds who constantly seek nectar from the flowers that appear from late spring to late summer. When flower spikes are spent simply cut them away and water and more will arrive. Very easy to grow long blooming perennial for full sun to part shade in rich, well drained soil with light but consistent summer water. Very drought adapted when established. Works well in borders and even seasonal containers. The leaves have a very familiar lemon lime aroma. Dies to a low clump of foliage in winter.

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Teucrium aroanum

A small spreading rock garden perennial germander that we love for its profuse and long display of purple flowers over soft gray foliage. The small leaves have a fruity smell when pinched on this dome shaped spreading plant. To just inches high a single plant will expand to more than a foot square in a season. A plant for very well drained sites in full hot sun. Or a ground cover where soil is light, aerated with plenty of double digging and never becomes compacted. Where is that? Steep slopes and rock gardens where this plant excels. Avoid soggy winter conditions and site in the hottest place possible. Blooms appear from May to August. Little to no summer water once established. Grows on the steepest sites you can imagine. Nice plant for troughs, well drained containers. Do not cut back. Evergreen.

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Teucrium fruticans

Silver Germander is a wiry shrub with gray foliage and even lighter gray/white stems. All summer it bears pale blue small flowers with a prominent central lip. Traditionally used in topiary or as a trimmed hedge, it takes amazingly well to heavy shearing. It responds by becoming incredibly dense. Its malleability  leads people to also trim it into any whimsical shape they can dream of. Full sun, average, well drained soil. Little to light summer water when established. Requires full sun and a hot position with protection from subfreezing wind. Classic mediterranean shrub. Grows as well at the cool coast as it does in the hot inland areas. To 4′ x 4′ if left unpruned.

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Thymus vulgaris ‘Peter Davis’

Form of the useful culinary herb that is also a nice looking little evergreen shrublet. To 6″ x 6″ the gray green foliage is aromatic and most useful before it blooms. In early summer it becomes a ball of light pink flowers- very pretty. Wait a bit until the blooms have receded to harvest again. A first rate, semi-woody evergreen garden plant that is good looking for most of the year. Average to rich, well drained soil in full sun. Light summer water. Very easy go grow. Takes quite a bit of drought when established.

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