Common names: Sticky Jerusalem Sage, Jerusalem Sage
Botanical names: Phlomis russeliana
Sticky Jerusalem Sage is a hardy herbaceous perennial originally from Turkey and Syria. With tall stalks of soft yellow whorls and fuzzy grey-green leaves, this plant adds a unique Mediterranean style to a garden. This excellent xeriscaping plant is best in dry sunny borders, mixed with other drought tolerant perennials. It is a good rock garden plant. This plant is not invasive, but its thick spreading basal rosettes block weeds making it a quick easy ground cover. The gray-green foliage is an excellent complement to its bright yellow flowers which also dry well for indoor flower arrangements.
Size: 1 to 3 feet tall and 1 to 3 feet wide
Flowers: soft butter yellow hooded blooms arranged in whorls, similar to Monarda
Bloom time: June to September
Leaves: large olive green heart-shaped leaves; slightly fuzzy, aromatic
Pests: Snails and slugs are attracted to basal rosettes, but the plant quickly outgrows their damage. Leafhoppers can be a problem.
Growing in North Texas
Sticky Jerusalem Sage likes full sun but can be planted in light shade. This plant adapts to most moderately well-drained soils. It is drought-tolerant but requires additional moisture in hot summer months. Propagate by division in spring or fall. It can be grown from seed, but often the blooms are left for winter interest and the seeds as a food source for birds.
Note: Use the botanical name to verify you are getting the right plant. There are several different ‘Jerusalem Sage’ plants. Phlomis russeliana is the ideal plant for our area. Avoid plants with these two misattributed names; Phlomis samia and Phlomis viscosa. They may or may not be the correct plant.
“The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants”; Christopher Brickell and Judith D. Zuk, Editors-in-Chief; DK Publishing, Inc.; 1996; pp 784
Keywords (tags): xeriscaping, rock garden, groundcover; nectar; seed; birds; bees, butterflies