Scientific name: Salvia pachyphylla
Plant Family: Lamiaceae (Mint)
Common names: Blue sage, mountain desert sage, Mojave sage, rose sage
By Susan Bruneni
The Santa Fe Botanical Garden’s May plant sale is the perfect opportunity to find out what grows best in our locale. Plants in the sale have been selected by local experts to represent the very best choices for Santa Fe gardens.
Featured at this year’s sale will be the showy Salvia pachyphylla (blue or Mojave sage). This California native thrives in the southwest (in elevations between 5,000 to 10,000 feet) and is a Santa Fe gardener’s dream. It requires little water, little maintenance, loves our soil, is heat and cold hardy and produces showy bluish/purple flowers all summer long. It is a long-lived perennial, producing silver-gray foliage on square stems, and is a recommended plant for xeriscaping. It is also recommended for soil-erosion prevention on slopes and for restoration planting.
Mojave sage is sometimes called the giant-flower sage because its blooms are larger than most other sages. It will thrive in full sun but tolerates some shade. The mature plant is two-three feet tall and three feet wide. The common names Mojave sage, rose sage, and blue sage are used for a variety of sage species, so make certain to verify the scientific name.