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Salvia yangii

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Perovskia atriplicifolia
Phonetic Spelling
SAL-vee-uh YANG-ee-eye
Description

Russian sage is an erect, perennial shrub in the Lamiaceae (mint) family and is native from Afghanistan to Tibet. This clump-forming plant reaches 3 to 4 feet tall and wide at maturity. The name Salvia is derived from the Latin term salveo, which means ‘be well’ and refers to the plant's medicinal properties.

This plant prefers full sun in well-drained, occasionally dry soil. Cut back stems to several inches above ground in early spring to stimulate good seasonal growth. Rangy plants can also be cut back to 12 inches after the first hard frost in the fall. Propagate this sage by leaf cutting or seed.

The grayish-green leaves of Russian sage are pungently scented, apparent when they are crushed or brushed against. This plant has showy blue to purple flowers that bloom in the summer. Cultivars such as 'Longin',  'Blue Spire', and 'Blue Mist' are superior to seed-grown plants.

Use it in perennial beds, drought tolerant gardens, and as a filler plant. The tall, clear blue flower spikes lend a cool, airy look to the garden and the pleasant scent from the crushed leaves make it at home in a sensory garden or planted near a walkway or patio where its fragrance can be enjoyed.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Stems grayish, square, bearing opposite leaves
  • Leaves pinnately dissected
  • Small zygomorphic flowers are borne in an elongate raceme
  • Inflorescence interrupted between fascicles of flowers

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems.

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

More information on Salvia.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Lake Wall Garden Davidson County Demo Garden Lake Wall Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Mist'
  • 'Blue Spire'
  • 'Longin'
'Blue Mist', 'Blue Spire', 'Longin'
Tags:
#purple#fragrant#evergreen#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#perennials#shrub#fragrant leaves#apvg#ncemgva2018#cpp#summer flowers#deer resistant#delicate#border planting#fantz#sensory garden#border middle#walkway planting#patio planting#HS302#apvg-p#stormwater demo garden orange co#landscape plant sleuths course
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Mist'
  • 'Blue Spire'
  • 'Longin'
'Blue Mist', 'Blue Spire', 'Longin'
Tags:
#purple#fragrant#evergreen#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#perennials#shrub#fragrant leaves#apvg#ncemgva2018#cpp#summer flowers#deer resistant#delicate#border planting#fantz#sensory garden#border middle#walkway planting#patio planting#HS302#apvg-p#stormwater demo garden orange co#landscape plant sleuths course
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Salvia
    Species:
    yangii
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Leaf Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Afghanistan to Tibet
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Shrub
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    > 6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are small, lavender-blue, zygomorphic, and the corolla is 2-lipped. Inflorescence is terminal, slender, open or loose racemose vertillicaster. The rachis internodes are elongated between fascicles. Fascicles are few flowered.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Cuneate
    Lanceolate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are opposite, simple, aromatic, lanceolate, cuneate, strongly pinnately dissected, green in color above, and grayish-white in color below. They are 1-2" long and have a strong fragrance.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are square and grayish.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Patio
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Garden for the Blind
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought