Pronounciation: Lou-co-FIL-lum can-DEE-dum
USDA 8-11 (arid and semi arid zones only)
Landscape Use: Accent, informal hedge, filler for desert gardens and landscape settings, rock gardens, useful where gray color and a fine texture is desired.
Form & Character: Smaller evergreen shrub, rounded to irregular, dry and open in appearance.
Growth Habit: Variety silver cloud grows moderately to 4 to 5 feet in height, while var. thunder cloud grows more slowly to 3 to 4 feet in height. Both varieties have spreads that are about equal to their height.
Foliage/texture: Leaves are alternately arranged on the stem, silver gray (nearly white), highly tomentose foliage and stems, leaves small to 1 inch long or less, elliptic to obovate and sessile; fine texture.
Flowers & fruits: Axillary indigo colored flowers, fruit inconspicuous on new wood.
Seasonal color: Flowers during warm season, peak flowering in late summer to early fall.
Temperature: Very tolerant of Phoenix heat and cold.
Light: Full sun, shade intolerant.
Soil: Prefers alkaline soils and MUST have a well-drained soil.
Watering: Apply no supplemental water during winter! Add supplemental water during summer particularly if monsoon rains are paltry.
Pruning: Best if pruned once a year in late February. Variety thunder cloudTM may not need pruning at all due to it's diminutive stature. And please, DO NOT SHEAR!!!
Propagation: Seed and cutting
Disease and pests: Texas root rot in poorly drained formerly agricultural soils is common.
Additional comments: Silver leaf sage leaves are more persistent in winter and smaller than L. frutescens. Variety thunder cloud is a smaller, superior improved version of var. silver cloud that is less prone to shearing abuse by landscape hacks with power shears in hand. Both varieties were developed by Texas A&M University.