Mexican Bush Sage aka salvia leucantha

Mexican bush sage at Red Butte
Mexican bush sage at Red Butte

This Mexican bush sage was extremely show-off-y this weekend in the fragrance garden of Red Butte. Woody stems, velvet petals and leaves that smelled like currants when rubbed: what more is there to like?Mexican bush sage salvia leucantha

According to the botanical label:

Dwarf velvet sage, Savia Leucantha “Santa Barbara” mint family. “the rose lavender flowers contrast well with the white stems and the dark green leaves”. Full sun, moderate water zone 8-10.

Mexican bush sage salvia leucantha

The zone requirement seems to doom the plant for a Salt Lake garden but according to this forum, some have succeeded in protecting the plant enough to overwinter. The key seems to find a specimen as early as possible to get it well established before the frost. I imagine that much like lemon verbena (cut back to the ground and mulched)  there is a 50% chance of resurrection.

At the garden it grows inside a “balcony” in a north facing stone wall. The stone probably retains the heat well and lets the plants survive from year to year. Note to self: revisit the site in the spring.


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