Common names: Dwarf Velvet Sage, Santa Barbara, Woody of Velvet
Botanical names: Salvia Leucantha
Mexican Bush Sage is classified as a Salvia, a member of the mint family. The “Santa Barbara” species of Salvia leucantha is a native from Mexico. It is very hardy, drought tolerant and deer resistant. The beautiful lavender flowers are spectacular throughout the fall season and attract hummingbirds and butterflies. It serves as an excellent background plant, border and perennial (to 25 degrees). Cut back twice a year to keep bushy and compact after blooming.
Size: 3-4 feet tall, 3-4 feet wide
Flowers: Spiked, velvety flowers, purple, purple and white and lavender
Bloom time: Primarily in fall
Leaves: Opposite leaves with a silvery underside. Approximately 2.5 inches long and slender.
Pests and Disease Problems: No significant problems.
Growing in North Texas
It loves bright sun and needs little or no water. This desert-like plant adapts to cool weather, prefers as little rainwater as possible, and well-drained soil. If it does suffer some freeze damage in North Texas, it will bounce back in the late spring. Prune any damaged foliage in late March or cut back to the ground. It prefers soils enriched with compost and top-dressed occasionally with organic mulch.
“Doug Welsh’s Gardening Almanac”; Doug Welsh; Texas A&M University Press; 2007; pp 228, 338,354
Texas AgriLife Extension – “Plant of the Week”
Keywords (tags): full sun, perennial, flowering, shrub, hummingbirds, butterflies, fall blooming, deer resistant