Native Garden

Ernest Righetti High School


Magenta-Red Sage - Salvia greggii

Family: Lamiaceac (Labiatae) (Mints)
Origin: Southwest US (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Magenta
Bloomtime: Spring/Fall

Salvia greggii 'Furman's Red' (Magenta Red Autumn Sage) - A durable selection of the evergreen subshrub that is native throughout southwest Texas and into Mexico. Light green glabrous leaves vary in length from 3/4 to one inch long. It is an upright plant growing to three to 4 feet tall by 2 to 3 feet wide with aromatic light green glabrous narrow 3/4 to 1 inch long leaves growing to 2 to 3 feet tall by about the same width. The 1 inch long magenta red flowers clothe the branch tips throughout summer and into fall/autumn until short days and cool weather slow then stop their production. Ideally suited to full sun in a well-drained soil with only occasional irrigation. It is cold hardy into the high teens and useful in USDA Zones 7 and above. This is an attractive and tough drought tolerant plant that draws hummingbirds and butterflies into the garden, yet is not that attractive to browsing animals such as deer. This cultivar was selected by the noted plantsman W.A. Furman of Kerrville, Texas in the 1970's and it remains to this day as one of the best and most vigorous of the Salvia greggii cultivars. The species Salvia greggii is naturally found at elevations from 5000-9000 feet in the mountains and rocky slopes of Mexico and southwest Texas. The name Salvia comes from the name used by Pliny for a plant in the genus and comes from the Latin word 'salvere' meaning "to save" in reference to the long-believed healing properties of several Sage species. The specific epithet honors Josiah Gregg, (1806-1850), an American Naturalist who traveled through Texas in the early 1840s, recording the geology, geography and plants all that he saw in his 
Commerce of the Prairies and later joined a botanical expedition to western Mexico and California. Salvia greggii is commonly called Autumn Sage since it blooms through to first frost but also Texas Sage, but this can confuse it with Leucophyllum frutescens, which shares this common name. We have grown this great cultivar since 1990 from plants first purchased from Monrovia Nursery in 1989. We also grow the very durable white autumn sage Salvia greggii 'Alba'.  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We will also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information about this plant, in particular if this information is contrary to what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Salvia greggii 'Furman's Red'.

San Marcos GROWERS

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