Scientific: Salvia leucantha
Common: Mexican sage
Family: Lamiaceae, the mint family
Origin: Mexico

Pronounciation: SAL-vi-a le-u-CAN-tha

Hardiness zones
USDA 9-11 (cooler zones as a summertime annual)

Landscape Use: Herbaceous border, accent, xeriscape, rock garden, landscape perennial border, hummingbirds and butterflies.

Form & Character: Herbaceous to woody perennial shrub, upright and informal, sprawling and rank in appearance if over watered.

Growth Habit: Moderate to vigorous to 3 to 7 feet in height with equal spread.

Foliage/Texture: Opposite, lanceolate ranging from 2 to 6 inches long, slightly serrate, adaxial surface gray green, abaxial surface densely tomentose, whitish in full sun, lacking pubescence in shade, prominent venation; medium texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Inflorescence a showy tomentose spiked raceme 6 to 10 inches long, calyx deep purple, corolla white; fruit inconspicuous.

Seasonal Color: Purplish flowers mostly in late summer and fall.

Temperature: Heat tolerant of all but western exposures in Phoenix. Cold hardy to 25oF.

Light: Full sun to partial shade from western sun.

Soil: Well-drained best.

Watering: Infrequent to regular summer irrigations. Regular watering greatly increases vigor and size in Phoenix area.

Pruning: Head back hard in winter after flowering, otherwise head back lightly in early summer to encourage compactness.

Propagation: Easy from cutting, may reseed.

Disease and pests: Root rot if soil is poorly drained.

Additional comments: Wonderful border accent plant that needs protection from hot western sun in Phoenix. Watering can and should be used to control vigor. Pink flowering variant exists.