Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Salvia discolor, my favorite plant in the garden this week…

Okay I cheated. I’ve been admiring the Salvia discolor for weeks and planned to feature it as “my fav,” but since I knew a big bad super-storm was coming over the weekend, and likely to destroy its delicate blossoms, I took these photos in advance.

It doesn’t look like this anymore. It, along with many other things in my garden, has been beaten into submission. But wow was it ever graceful, pre-storm.

Bought early this spring I’ve loved it since day one and honestly it’s only gotten better and better as it’s grown and flopped and twisted its way around the entire corner of this planting area.

Originally I lusted after it for the black flowers alone, however I’ve really come to appreciate the whorls of flower and foliage and their incremental placement up the sticky green stem.

The older stems are coated in white as are the undersides of the leaves.

This plant doesn’t shout for attention but just quietly draws me in. However if I want to enjoy it’s subtle charm s next year I’ll have to dig it and overwinter it indoors since it’s not hardy here in Portland. The stats:
  • also known as Peruvian Black Sage or Andean Silver-Leaf Sage
  • hardy to zone 9, it prefers well drained soil in full sun
  • drought tolerant but appreciates occasional summer water
  • grows to about 18” tall, 12” wide


I'd love to know what plant in your garden has caught your admiring eye this first week of October. Please share a link or story in the comments!

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

34 comments:

  1. Oooh, so that's what the blooms look like! I've been admiring the foliage on mine all summer (the first time I've grown it) but it's just starting to bud -- probably won't actually see the flowers before the first frost. I'm definitely going to overwinter this one, as it's just too pretty not to grow again! (this was my first year growing it)

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    1. Correction: I just checked and mine has a bloom already! So black! :)

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    2. Yay!! I'm thrilled you will get a chance to see the flowers after all. Will you over winter with cuttings or by digging it up.

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  2. Here it gets mowed down by the inevitable frost (not a light frost, but 28°F or so) but it always comes back. I like it, too, I just wish it didn't get so lanky.

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  3. I got one of these this summer too and I think my favorite thing about it is the smell of the leaves. It doesn't smell like other sages. It is kind of sweeter. I keep rubbing the leaves whenever I pass it.

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    1. Okay I guess I need to try harder to smell the leaves.

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  4. Another great salvia to add to my search list! I've been looking for a local source for Salvia 'Amistad' for a couple of months. The nearby nurseries surprisingly don't seem to offer a wide variety of salvias - I've never seen S. discolor either. Maybe it's just the wrong time of year for salvia shopping.

    My contribution to your meme this week is a lowly (but colorful) annual: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2013/10/my-favorite-plant-this-week-celosia.html . Thanks for hosting!

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    1. If you click on the first link in the post You can see there are a few plantlust.com nurseries who will mail order it for you!

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  5. WOW, those blooms! I have got to get one of these.

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    1. Xera had a drop dead gorgeous big one mid-summer, oh how I wanted it.....

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  6. It is a beautiful plant. Love the combination of black flowers and silver stems and leaves.

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  7. Glaucous leaves and nearly black flowers, gorgeous!

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    1. What's not to love right? Have you guys grown it?

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  8. Those dark flowers are worth any amount of trouble, not to mention the wonderful stems and leaves.
    Here's my entry: http://bannersbyricki.com/wp-admin/post-new.php?posted=3393

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    1. Indeed...where as your fav looks to be rock hardy!

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  9. How many times have I almost bought this plant ? I just can't seem to fit it in with the overall scheme of my garden..but it's spot on for yours Loree ! Here is my contribution for this week...

    http://gardenbook-ks.blogspot.com/2013/10/my-favorite-this-week.html

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    1. Interesting. It seems like the kind of plant I would tuck onto the garden just about anywhere! The more I hear about your garden the more I hope to see it someday.

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    2. Absolutely: stick that sucker in the ground and forget about it, except to pet and admire. But then I need more in the way of bulletproof beauties than you do.

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  10. Another great favorite oh Dangerous one! Here's mine for this week:

    http://www.outlawgarden.blogspot.com/2013/10/melianthus-major-antonows-blue-my_3.html

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    1. Oh that's a good one! Off to see what you have to say about it...

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  11. I love the dark flowers on this Salvia. Wow! Here's my current favorite: http://bonneylassie.blogspot.com/2013/10/my-favorite-plant-in-garden.html

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    1. I think I'm definitely going to have to try and overwinter mine...

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  12. Very pretty. I love the silvery, almost fluffy undersides of the leaves!

    Here is my current favourite: http://crmbsgrdn.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/my-favourite-plant-this-week.html

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    Replies
    1. You're right! They do have a flocked Christmas tree like look.

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  13. I love the silvery glaucous foliage. The foliage at the tips reminds me of photos of Monarda punctata, which I want to grow next year. The flowers are an intriguing color.

    My entry for this week is-
    http://weedingonthewildside.blogspot.com/2013/10/eryngium-planum-jade-frost-favorite.html

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    1. I kind of think I'm addicted to the silvery glaucous foliage...

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  14. Love, it, had it once upon a time, must get again! Next year...

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    1. Next year, there is always next year...

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  15. Oh, I love the contrast in color from blooms to foliage! Lovely choice :) Here is my favorite plant post of the week http://rainydaygardener.blogspot.com/2013/10/alstroemeria-butterscotch-my-favorite.html

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    1. Any plant with 'butterscotch' in the name is a good one!

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  16. This plant is new to me. Would love to try it in a pot. My plant/flower of the week is a Brugmansia/Agave combo: http://www.vanschilperoort.com/GardenBlog/2013/10/08/brugmansia-and-agave/

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    1. Glad you're back at it (blogging) again Van, and I love that combo in your photo!

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