Mexican Salvia (Mexican Sage)
Also known as Mexican Bush Sage or Velvet Sage.
Mexican Salvia produces a white flower from fuzzy purple “calyces.” It is an evergreen shrubby bush that grows to 2-3 feet high and equally wide. It is hardy to zone 8. In colder climates, the frost may burn the bush but it will likely return in the spring.
Mexican Salvia can be planted from seed or grown from cuttings (which are easy to root). It should be given plenty of sun but it needs less water than most plants.
This fuzzy purple salvia offers a splash of color in the late fall to winter months (until frost). The Missouri botanical Garden website describes the bloom:
This sage is most noted for producing a very attractive late summer to frost bloom of showy bicolor flowers consisting of white corollas and longer-lasting funnel-form purple calyces. Flowers appear in dense, arching, terminal spikes (racemes to 10” long) that extend above the foliage. Flowers are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. Linear, lance-shaped, gray-green leaves (to 4” long) are borne in pairs on square stems. Foliage has a velvet-like texture, hence the sometimes used common name of velvet sage for this species.
The Floridata website offers the following description:
Mexican bush sage, with its graceful arching stems and soft downy foliage, is one of our favorite salvias. The fuzzy purple calyces are the main show, and these persist even after the actual flowers have fallen off, making Mexican bush sage one of the few salvias suitable for use as a cut flower. It may also be used in everlasting arrangements as the calyces retain their color after drying. The butterflies that seem to materialize out of the blue in autumn are drawn like magnets to this and other late blooming salvias.
Visit either site for complete growing instructions for the Mexican Salvia.
Here is a gallery of photos of the Mexican Salvia blooms: