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Perovskia atriplicifolia: Russian Sage

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Description
Form: A clump-forming herb with a woody base and herbaceous stems.
Lifespan: Perennial.
Leaf retention: Evergreen but frost deciduous.
Growth rate: Moderate.
Mature Size: 2-5' high and as wide depending on cultivar.
Flowers: Purple to blue, very small, clustered in spikes, edible.
Bloom: Late spring through summer.
Fruit: Up to four tiny seeds at the base of each dried calyx (cup-like structure that holds the flower and ovary).
Leaves: Silver green, downy, roughly serrated edges, aromatic but not edible.
Stems: No thorns, grayish-white, becoming woody with age.
Roots: Spreads by rhizomes, somewhat invasive in moist soils.
Wildlife: Attracts bees.
Toxic / Danger: Causes allergic skin reaction in a few people.
Origin: Central Asia, including Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Tibet.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 4-9, depending on cultivar.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun to light shade.
Water after becoming established: Once a month.
Soil: Well drained, dry, low in organic content, pH 6.1-8.5 (slightly acidic to alkaline).
Mulch: Bare soil or gravel. Soil must dry quickly after watering or rain.
Prune: Cut back to 6" high after last winter freeze. Produces flowers on new growth. Cut off spent blossoms to encourage additional blooming.
Propagation: Seed, cuttings.
Uses: Ornamental, bee attractor.

Comments
A member of the mint family, but not a salvia (true sage) nor from Russia. Flowers shown are from two different cultivars.



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Perovskia atriplicifolia: Russian Sage - flowers

Perovskia atriplicifolia: Russian Sage - flowers

Perovskia atriplicifolia: Russian Sage - leaves

Perovskia atriplicifolia: Russian Sage