Pronounciation: HIP-tus e-MOR-ee-i
Sunset 10, 12-13
USDA 8-10 (arid and semi arid regions only)
Landscape Use: Used principally as a background informal hedge or accent shrub in desert gardens.
Form & Character: Upright evergreen perennial, mostly herbaceous, with a regular stiff and brittle branching habit.
Growth Habit: Moderately upright to 10 feet in height with an equal spread. Growth rate markedly increased by additions of supplemental water.
Foliage/texture: Small, oval gray highly pubescent leaves (wooly) with crenate margins, fragrant when crushed; medium texture.
Flowers & fruits: Terminal and axillary clusters of small purple flowers, attract butterflies and bees; fruit inconspicuous nutlets, brown at maturity.
Seasonal color: Desert lavender can bloom repeatedly throughout the warm season in irrigated landscapes.
Temperature: Obviously highly adapted to hot desert climates.
Light: Full sun, tolerant of reflected heat.
Soil: Well drained soil is required.
Watering: Needs only some supplemental water during summer heat. Desert lavender can become rangy and leggy in appearance if over irrigated.
Pruning: Lightly head back or shear in late winter to promote a more regular shape and denser foliar canopy.
Propagation: Seed, cutting
Disease and pests: None
Additional comments: This is a rarely used shrub in Phoenix landscapes reserved exclusively for xeric and desert landcsape settings. Rub the leaves in your fingers to smell their wonderful fragrance, its a heavy sage-like scent. The leaves are used to make a herbal tea. The flowers are attractive to bees. Hyptis is a genus of about 400 species, mostly in tropical regions around the world.