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Salvia leucanthaMexican Bush Sage
 
Salvia leucantha at SF Botanical Garden by Joanne Taylor
Salvia leucantha Salvia leucantha Salvia leucantha Salvia leucantha Salvia leucantha Salvia leucantha

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There are at least 900 recognized species of Salvia worldwide and they exist on every continent but Australia. Structurally, they have some universal features including: square stems, opposite leaves which are often aromatic, and uneven, two-lipped flowers of varying sizes and colors. Salvias can be annuals or perennials. The name comes from the Latin Salvus, meaning "safe." The leaves and roots of Salvia officinalis, a native to the Mediterranean area, have been used medicinally for centuries for many disorders. Teas were made to ward off fevers or taken as a spring tonic to lighten depression and stimulate memory. Today it is often used as a culinary herb to season poultry and lamb.

Mexican bush sage is a popular robust specimen reaching 2-4 feet tall and just as wide. It is not suitable for a small garden space! The purple flowers are staggered up the pale stems in intervals and mildly perfumed. The fuzzy purple calyces remain long after the flowers have fallen and are considered by many to be more attractive than the flowers. Its leaves are soft, narrow and pungent with the pale undersides covered in white-wooly hairs. This Salvia is considered fairly drought resistant and tends to die back in winter.

Profile
Scientific Name Salvia leucantha
Family Lamiaceae
Plant Type Shrub
Environment Thrives in full sun and warmer temperatures and tolerates many soil types, even more clay based soils with proper drainage; can tolerate some drought
Bloom Summer to Fall; purple flowers with fuzzy purple calyces that are the real attraction as they persist long after the flowers have fallen off
Uses Works well where you need a medium-sized shrub; good as an understory planting or placed at the edge of a wooded area
More Info Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds

One of the few Salvia that make good cut flowers due to the persistent and colorful calyces

There are a few specific plantings in the Garden highlighting many Salvia species. Check out the Garden of Fragrance (south of the plant arbor) and the Dry Mexico area to the left of the Succulent Garden.
Location

Salvia leucantha can be found in the Garden of Fragrance (Bed 11I).

Visiting Info >>
Map (Bed Numbers) >>

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IN BLOOM CONTRIBUTORS:
Photos by Docent Joanne Taylor; text by Docent Kathy McNeil; profile by Associate Curator David Kruse-Pickler; Additional photo courtesy of Far Out Flora.

 
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Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White'

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Magnolia laevifolia'Strybing Compact'

Magnolia laevifolia 'Strybing Compact'

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Aristolochia californica

Aristolochia californica

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Chlorogalum pomeridianum

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Arbutus menziesii

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Romneya coulteri

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Cistus sp.

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Magnolia denudata

Magnolia denudata

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Magnolia x veitchii

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Iris douglasiana

Iris douglasiana

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Aesculus californica

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Vaccinium ovatum

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Sambucus racemosa

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Sequoia sempervirens

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Asarum caudatum

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Deppea splendens

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Montanoa spp.

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Bidens sp.

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December

Acer palmatum 'Sango kaku'

Acer palmatum 'Sango kaku'

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Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'

Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'

February

Bomaria spp.

Bomarea spp.

March

Rhododendron occidentale

Rhododendron occidentale

April

Polystichum munitum

Polystichum munitum

May

x Chiranthofremontia lenzii

x Chiranthofremontia lenzii

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Salvia leucantha

Salvia leucantha

July

Hydrangea seemannii

Hydrangea seemannii

August

Wollemia nobilis

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Cyathea cooperi

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Pinus radiata

Pinus radiata

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Correa spp.

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Garrya elliptica

Garrya elliptica

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Magnolia x soulangeana

Magnolia x soulangeana

February

Senecio glastifolius

Senecio glastifolius

March

Ribes spp.

Ribes spp.

April

Oxalis oregana

Oxalis oregana

May

Calandrinia grandiflora

Calandrinia grandiflora

June

Taxus baccata

Taxus baccata

July

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

August

Passiflora parritae

Passiflora parritae

September

Malvaviscus arboreus

Malvaviscus arboreus

October

Monterey Cypress

Monterey Cypress

November

Aloe arborescens

Aloe arborescens

December

Aloe plicatilis

Aloe plicatilis

January

Banksia seminuda

Banksia seminuda

February

Zantedeschia elliottiana

Zantedeschia aethiopica

March

Magnolia laevifolia

Magnolia laevifolia

April

Araucaria heterophylla

Araucaria heterophylla

May

Toxicodendron diversilobum

Toxicodendron diversilobum

June

Clarkia sp.

Clarkia sp.

July

Agapanthus

Agapanthus

August

Brugmansia

Brugmansia

September

Cedrus spp.

Cedrus spp.

October

Protea repens

Protea repens

November

Camellia sinensis

Camellia sinensis

December

Thujopsis dolabrata

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January

Gordonia longicarpa

Gordonia longicarpa

February

Rojasianthe superba

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March

Echium spp.

Echium spp.

April

Iris douglasiana

Iris douglasiana

May

Digitalis purpurea

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June

Felicia amelloides

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July

Ceroxylon quindiuense

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Amaryllis belladonna

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September

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba

October

Acer morrisonense

Acer morrisonense

November

Ilex aquifolium

Ilex aquifolium

December

Picea sitchensis

Picea sitchensis

January

Telanthophora grandifolia

Telanthophora grandifolia

February

Aeonium arboreum 'Schwartzkopf'

Aeonium arboreum 'Schwartzkopf'

March

Leptospermum Spp.

Leptospermum

April

Salvia gesneraeflora

Salvia gesneraeflora

May

Lavandula spp.

Lavandula spp.

June

Pelargonium

Pelargonium

July

Fuchsia paniculata

Fuchsia paniculata

August

Luma apiculata

Luma apiculata

September

Luculia

Luculia

October

Arbutus unedo

Arbutus unedo

November

Cycads

Cycad

December

Restionaceae

Restionaceae

January

Hellebores

Hellebores

February

Ceanothus

Ceanothus

March

Rhododendron

Rhododendron

April

Psoralea pinnata

Psoralea pinnata

May

Fremontodendron californicum

Fremontodendron californicum

June

Leucadendron argenteum

Leucadendron argenteum

July

Crocosmia

Crocosmia

August

Gunnera tinctoria

Gunnera tinctoria

September

Pellaea rotundifolia

Pellaea rotundifolia

October

Fuchsia boliviana

Fuchsia boliviana

November

Erica canaliculata

Erica canaliculata

December

Magnolia campbelli

Magnolia campbelli

January

Magnolia denudata

Magnolia denudata

February

Camellia

Camellia

March

Geranium maderense

Geranium maderense

April

Acmena smithii

Acmena smithii

May

Eschscholzia californica

Eschscholzia californica

June

Dendromecon harfordii

Dendromecon harfordii

July

Romneya coulteri

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Eupatorium purpureum

Eupatorium purpureum

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Epilobium canum sp.

Epilobium canum sp.

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Grevillea spp.

Grevillea spp.

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Drimys winteri

Drimys winteri

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