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Forsythia Sage Salvia madrensis

Phonetic Spelling
SAL-vee-uh ma-DREN-sis
Description

Forsythia sage is a perennial plant native to Mexico in the Lamiaceae (mint) family.  Its species name madrensis is derived from the location where it grows in its native habitat, the high mountains of Mexico.

Unlike typical salvia, Madrenses has four sided stems with ridges on the edges.  It blooms in the garden at a time when most flowers have finished for the season.  In the right climate, fall and winter blooms are abundant.  In locations where frost is possible, protect the plant, or the bloom season will be shortened.  Deadheading will encourage additional blooms.  In frost free climates, it can bloom up until spring.

Spreading from underground shoots, it may be necessary to remove shoots to control its spread.  In tropical areas, its rapid growth rate may require multiple pruning during the year.  

Grows well in full sun, however, some afternoon shade in extreme heat would be appreciated.  If grown in an area receiving shade for a majority of the day, it will tend to have fewer blooms and its form may become lankier.    

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious issues or concerns.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Red Neck Girl'
    Red-violet flowers and maroon stems.
'Red Neck Girl'
Tags:
#hummingbirds#showy flowers#heat tolerant#fall flowers#winter interest#fall interest#tropical perennials#deer resistant#border planting#cutting garden#xeriscaping#butterfly friendly#bee friendly#tropical#broadleaf#cutting
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Red Neck Girl'
    Red-violet flowers and maroon stems.
'Red Neck Girl'
Tags:
#hummingbirds#showy flowers#heat tolerant#fall flowers#winter interest#fall interest#tropical perennials#deer resistant#border planting#cutting garden#xeriscaping#butterfly friendly#bee friendly#tropical#broadleaf#cutting
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Salvia
    Species:
    madrensis
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Northwestern Mexico
    Wildlife Value:
    Hummingbirds, bees and butterflies are attracted to the flowers.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Colorful
    Screening
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11b, 11a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The whorls of flowers lay along 12" spikes. The yellow flowers, that may have a sticky feel, are unusual for a salvia. The calyces are the same color as the flower.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Velvety
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Gray-green heart shaped leaves.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    Thick, rigid stems.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Patio
    Pool/Hardscape
    Slope/Bank
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Border
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Screen/Privacy
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Heat