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Phlomis fruticosa

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Beloakon luteum
  • Phlomis angustifolia
  • Phlomis collina
  • Phlomis latifola
  • Phlomis portae
  • Phlomis salviifolia
  • Phlomis scariosa
Description

The Jerusalem Sage is a native of Albania, Cyprus, East Aegean Island, Greece, Italy, Crete, Sardinia, Sicily, Transcaucasia, Turkey, and former Yugoslavia. It is a broadleaf evergreen, mounding, shrubby, and pubescent perennial. In USDA Zones 8-10, it will remain evergreen and in Zones 5-7 it is deciduous. The plant is a member of the Mint family or Lamiaceae. Its genus name Phlomis is Greek and translated means flame. This may be referring to the fact that in ancient times its leaves were used as lamp wicks. The species name, fruticosa, means shrubby and short, and this refers to its growth habit. The plant's height varies from 2-4 feet and spread 3-5 feet.

It is a low maintenance plant with medium to rapid growth and prefers full sun to partial shade. If planted in the shade, it will have unattractive leggy stems. Well-drained dry to moist soil is required and it is adaptable to various soil types. The plant is propagated by softwood cuttings during the summer, root ball division in the spring, or sowing seeds in late spring.

The leaves are wrinkled, gray-green in color, and have a soft wooly feel. The undersides of the leaves are white and are covered with fine hairs much like Lamb's Ear. The unscented flowers bloom in late spring to late summer and are a bright golden yellow. The flowers appear on spikes along the upper half of the stem tips and appear layered or tiered similar to the snapdragons. The flower's nectar attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The plant is deer resistant, rabbit resistant, and drought tolerant.

This is a good selection for a border, container, cottage garden, cut or dried flower garden, or mass planting. The plant reportedly has no serious pests or diseases except for leafhoppers.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#showy flowers#drought tolerant#shrub#yellow flowers#low maintenance#rabbit resistant#deer resistant#borders#hairy leaves#cutting garden#pollinator plant#cottage#perrenial
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#showy flowers#drought tolerant#shrub#yellow flowers#low maintenance#rabbit resistant#deer resistant#borders#hairy leaves#cutting garden#pollinator plant#cottage#perrenial
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Phlomis
    Species:
    fruticosa
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Leaves used as lamp wicks in ancient Greece
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Layering
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mediterranean
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Bees, Butterflies, and Hummingbirds enjoy its nectar.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Mounding
    Multi-stemmed
    Open
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Brown fruit capsules appear in late summer and fall. The capsules are less than 1 inch long in size.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Good Dried
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Flowers from late spring to late summer. The golden yellow blooms are spiked and arranged in tiers or layers much like a snapdragon. They grow in whorls along the upper half of the stem and at the end of the stem. They are tubular, drooping flowers that form a cluster of around 20 blooms in short spikes. The flower has no fragrance.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Soft
    Velvety
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are simple, opposite in arrangement, ovate to lanceolate in shape, grayish-green to green in color, and are about 5 inches long. On the undersides of the leaves, they are white and densely covered with fine hairs. They have a fuzzy, soft wooly, or felt-like texture with a pleasant scent.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Multi-stemmed and covered with white hairs.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Garden for the Blind
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Rabbits