in Tucson, Phoenix,
and Southern California

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, and Southern California

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Phlomis fruticosa: Jerusalem Sage

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Form: Shrub with herbaceous stems.
Leaf retention: Evergreen, damaged at 15°F and dies to ground around 10°F with roots surviving to -10°F,
Growth rate: Moderate.
Mature Size: 3' high and wide.
Flowers: Yellow, hooded upper lip curled partly over broad lower lip, arrayed in layered balls on upper half of stems.
Bloom: Spring.
Fruit: Seeds in flowerhead.
Leaves: Oval to lance-shaped, wrinkled, fuzzy, grey-green on top and white underneath, aromatic, edible.
Stems: No thorns, fuzzy, many-branched, becoming woody at base with age.
Wildlife: Attracts butterflies, bees, and occasionally, hummingbirds.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: Eastern half of Mediterranean.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 7-11.
Heat tolerant: Yes in part shade.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Part shade most of day in hot desert southwest. Full sun in northern states.
Water after becoming established: Monthly.
Soil: Well drained, dry to slightly moist, pH 6.1-7.8 (slightly acidic to slightly alkaline).
Prune: In winter before flowering.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Cuttings, seed.
Uses: Ornamental, leaves used as mild substitute for sage.

A member of the mint family, but not a salvia (true sage).

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