The Mexican bush sage is one of the top flowering garden shrubs in landscapes and gardens across the Inland Empire. It is a medium size mounding shrub comprised of numerous basal stems growing quickly to 3-5 ft. high and 4-6 ft. wide. Foliage is comprised of long and narrow leaves, 3-6 in. long, 1/2 in. wide, olive-green above and silvery-white below. A striking purple and white floral display occurs from late summer into late fall comprised of tall flower spikes with numerous fuzzy purple calyces and flowers.
Mexican bush sage comes from tropical and subtropical climate zones in central and eastern Mexico, and has proven to be one of the most popular plants for residential gardens. It grows best in sunny locations, tolerates a variety of soil conditions and thrives with low amounts of water. Mexican bush sage is valued for its uniform growth habit, soft foliage color and abundant late season flowering. Long stems of this species should be pruned close to the ground in mid winter to make room for new growth. It is a long-lived sage species that will develop a large rootstock over time, resulting in increasingly larger plants.
Several cultivars are available from nurseries including: S. l. ‘Midnight’ that has purple flowers and stems, and S. l. ‘Santa Barbara’ that is a smaller growing selection 2-3 ft. high and 4-6 ft. wide with light purple-white flowering character.