in Tucson, Phoenix,
Arizona and California

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, Arizona and California

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Salvia farinacea: Mealycup Sage

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Form: Herb, upright to sprawling, mound-forming.
Lifespan: Perennial.
Leaf retention: Evergreen except dies to ground in freezing temperatures.
Growth rate: Moderate.
Mature Size: 1-2' high and wide.
Flowers: White and blue to purple, or all blue, tubular, broad lower lip, arrayed in spikes.
Bloom: All year in regions without freezes.
Fruit: Up to four tiny seeds at the base of each dried calyx (cup-like structure formed from sepals that holds the flower and ovary).
Leaves: Depending on cultivar: gray-green and felty to medium-green and smooth, broadly lance-shaped, margins toothed or not. Slight fragrance.
Stems: No thorns, not woody.
Wildlife: Attracts butterflies, hummingbirds.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: New Mexico, Texas and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 7b-11, depending on cultivar.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun to three-quarters shade.
Water after becoming established: Once or twice a month in part shade, weekly in full sun. Tolerant of frequent watering if soil drains quickly, but overly moist soil results in leggy, weak stems. Some varieties need more water.
Soil: Well drained, dry to slightly moist, low in organic content, pH 6.1-7.8 (slightly acidic to slightly alkaline).
Mulch: Do not mulch, especially in part shade.
Prune: After extended flowering, prune for more compact growth which will temporarily reduce flowering.
Litter: Low except for pruning.
Propagation: Seed.
Uses: Ornamental, wildlife attractor.

This species has several cultivars. The common name refers to the sepals (leaves at base of flower), being mealy (whitish), in color, although sometimes they are purple. Another common name for some cultivars is Blue Sage. While a member of the mint family, the flowers and leaves are not considered edible.

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Salvia farinacea: Mealycup Sage - flowers

Salvia farinacea: Mealycup Sage - with butterfly

Salvia farinacea: Mealycup Sage - with hummingbird

Salvia farinacea: Mealycup Sage