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Cloud Forest Plants

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Cloud Forest Plants

Cloud forests form on mountaintops worldwide. Some of the best-known ones in the Western Hemisphere are found in Canada, Mexico, Central America and South America. They are troves of plant diversity and major sources of oxygen production.

Plants from these misty, montane forests love humidity and partial shade. Many are well adapted to life in temperate climates, especially in areas with moderate year-round temperatures and plentiful fog, such as along our Mendocino coastline.

Due to their elevation, cloud forests are cooler than tropical rainforests. Instead of gaining their moisture from rain, plants in these areas absorb moisture from the clouds surrounding them similar to Northern California plants that quench themselves on fog drip.

Despite major differences in altitude, the growing conditions in Mediterranean coastal climates approximate the growing conditions in cloud forests. This is especially true where temperatures are cool-to-moderate, fog is plentiful and low evaporation occurs, such as in San Francisco.

Aside from loving moisture, cloud forest plants often prefer rich soil. Flowers by the Sea raises a variety of cloud-forest species, including Salvias and orchids. Cloud forests worldwide are suffering from deforestation and global warming. By growing their plants, you help preserve biodiversity.

Plants


  • Cantua buxifoloa

    (Sacred flower of the Incas) Long reddish blossoms with flared, trumpet-like corollas and bright blue pollen contrast with mid-green foliage in the long-blooming, South American species Cantua buxifolia.

    10.50
     


  • Centaurea gymnocarpa

    (Velvet Centaurea) Lacy, velvety foliage gives this tough shrub its common name. The globular, thistle-like flowers are lavender to fuchsia pink and contrast elegantly with the silvery green of the leaves.

    10.50
     


  • Centradenia floribunda

    (Spanish Shawl) This is one of these plants that stops most people in their tracks. The deep purple/pink, standout flowers are show stoppers in and of themselves - but the furry leaves, which start green and mature to a bronze red are unique and unforgettable.

    10.50
     


  • Cuphea 'Minnie Mouse'

    (Minnie Mouse Ears) Floriferous and heat tolerant, Cuphea 'Minnie Mouse' is also a long-blooming addition to wildlife gardens. Similar to Salvias, Cupheas are rich sources of nectar that fuel hummingbird migration. Bees, butterflies and hoverflies are among the other pollinators that love this genus.

    10.50
     


  • Cuphea 'Strybing Sunset'

    Floriferous and heat tolerant, Cuphea 'Strybing Sunset' is a long-blooming addition to wildlife gardens. Similar to Salvias, Cupheas are rich sources of nectar that fuel hummingbird migration. Bees, butterflies and hoverflies are among the other pollinators that love this genus.

    11.00
     


  • Cuphea aff. aequipetala

    (Mexican Loosestrife) The tempting, purple-to-magenta flowers of Cuphea aff. aequipetala attract butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds as well as gardeners who love color. Abundant blossoms flare into six-petal corollas at the end of long, cylindrical flowers.

    10.50
     


  • Cuphea micropetala

    (Candy Corn Plant) Due to their bright colors and rich nectar, Cupheas are magnets for pollinators, including butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds. That's certainly true for the orange and yellow, candy-corn colored flowers of Cuphea micropetala.

    10.50
     


  • Cuphea nelsonii

    (Nelson's Bat-Faced Cuphea) A tiny snout-like face emerges at the end of this Cuphea's tubular flower and beneath two red-orange petals shaped like bat ears. "Too cute!" is a typical response to these whimsical flowers that attract butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds.

    15.00
     


  • Cuphea oreophila

    (Orange Bat-Faced Cuphea) A corolla of irregularly sized petals -- two tall and four short -- give the opening of this Cuphea's bright red-orange flowers a bat-like look. Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds love the abundant, nectar-rich, cylindrical blossoms that flower nearly year round in areas with mild climates.

    10.50
     


  • Cuphea salvadorensis

    (Salvador Cuphea)  Closely related to but distinct from Cuphea oreophylla, this rare species has small flowers in great profusion.  A spreading shrubby grower, it excells in containers where it can be enjoyed close up.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Cuphea x purpurea

    (Bat-Faced Cuphea) A tiny snout-like face emerges at the end of this Cuphea's tubular flower and beneath two red and purple petals shaped like bat ears. "Too cute!" is a typical response to these whimsical flowers that attract butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds.

    10.50
     


  • Deppea splendens

    (Chiapas Golden Fuchsia) Cool, moist and partially shady -- those are the conditions that this tall, rare shrub loves. Once native to the mountain cloud forests of Mexico's southernmost state, Chiapas, Golden Fuchsia in 1986 became extinct in the wild and now is primarily grown by botanical gardens.

    15.00
     


  • Salvia amarissima

    (Bitter Mexican Sage) Hummingbirds love this heat-tolerant Salvia, which is one of our best choices for shady, moist areas. The large-lipped, baby-blue flowers with white striations bloom from late summer through fall.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia amethystina subsp. ampelophylla

    (Amethyst Sage) Growing up to 12 inches long, the triangular basal leaves of Salvia amethystina subsp. ampelophylla are the largest we know among sages. They have long silky hairs on their undersides and are fragrant when bruised.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia atrocyanea

    (Dark Flowered Bolivian Sage) Here is a water-loving beauty with dusky blue flowers --a native of the moist Yungas piedmont forests of Northwestern Argentina and Bolivia. Salvia atrocyanea is well adapted to both full sun and partial shade.

    12.50
     


  • Salvia biserrata

    (Double Saw Tooth Sage) Vivid deep violet flowers bloom from summer into fall and contrast prettily with the bright green, rumply foliage of this tall sage from southeastern Mexico. Belgian botanist and orchid lover Jean Jules Linden was the first to record its discovery in 1838, according to records on file at Britain’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia cacaliifolia

    (Blue Vine Sage) Blooming from mid-summer through late autumn, this semi-hardy herbaceous perennial is adorned with a profusion of true-blue flowers that arch up 12 to 24 inches above its deltoid, grass-green leaves.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia caudata 'El Cielo Blue'

    (Blue Sky Mexican Sage) The small flowers of this plant from Neuevo Leon and Tamaulipas, Mexico, are an attractive combination of amethyst-purple and white. The spectacular leaves, which are large and lightly textured, appear blue-green on top and purple-green underneath.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia chiapensis

    (Chiapas Sage) This partial-shade Salvia produces magenta flowers year round for us on the Mendocino Coast. It's compact, free flowering and not bothered by pests whether large or small. It is native to Mexico's coastal mountains at an elevation of 7,000 to 9,500 feet.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia cinnabarina

    (Cinnabar Sage) Think of this plant as Pineapple Sage on steroids. It grows 5 feet tall and can be twice as wide and bursts with large, intensely red, furry flowers all winter. Our overwintering hummingbirds adore it. This cinnabar-red sage is hard to forget once you see it in full bloom.

    11.50
     


  • Salvia concolor

    (Blue Black Mexican Sage) This spectacular and hardy native of Central Mexico is exciting to watch as new growth shoots upward rapidly from its root stock in spring. Its large, vibrant, purple-blue flowers bloom for about 10 months and are profuse from late autumn through winter on flower spikes up to 20 inches long.

    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia cuatrecasana

    (Columbian Mountain Sage) Deep purple bracts support the small, lighter purple flowers of Salvia cuatrecasana, which is a rare Colombian sage. White beelines mark the flowers of this long-blooming shrub, which is a hummingbird favorite.

    13.50
     


  • Salvia discolor

    (Peruvian Sage or Concolor Sage) Native to the high Andes of Peru, this is a distinctive Salvia with apple-green leaves that are smooth on top and silver-haired fuzzy on the bottom. The flowers are such a dark purple that they almost look black.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia discolor 'Purple Bracts'

    (Purple Bract Peruvian Sage or Concolor Sage) Similar to its wild relative, Peruvian Sage, which is also known as Concolor Sage, this cultivar has foliage that is smooth, apple green on top and fuzzy with silver hairs on the bottom.  Major differences appear in the dramatic bracts.

    13.50
     


  • Salvia disjuncta

    Southern Mexican Sage) With its graceful, shrubby habit, purplish green leaves and intense tomato-red blooms, this herbaceous perennial makes a delightful display in your garden. It begins blooming in October and continues sporadically through the winter and into spring in frost-free areas.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia dombeyi

    (Giant Bolivian Sage) Hailing from Peru and Bolivia, this tender specimen is found at altitudes of 9,000 feet in the wild. This multi-stemmed, woody-based, climbing Salvia needs support. Hummingbirds love its 5-inch-long, crimson flowers, which are the longest grown by any Salvia and flower from late summer through autumn.

    15.00
     


  • Salvia dorisiana

    (Fruit Scented Sage)  This plant has it all -- big, light-green leaves that are fuzzy soft and large magenta-pink flowers that smell intoxicating and bloom from winter into spring. Fruit Scented Sage is one of the strongest and most deliciously scented plants we have encountered.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia eizi-matudae

    (Shaggy Chiapas Sage) This is a sweetheart! Glowing magenta flowers lure the eye as well as hummingbirds to this heat-tolerant sage. It begins blooming in late summer where weather is warm and in fall where it is cooler.

    15.00
     


  • Salvia fallax

    (Silly Mexican Sage) Also known as Salvia roscida, this close relative of Blue Sky Mexican Sage (Salvia caudata 'El Cielo Blue') has thousands of deep violet-blue flowers with prominent white bee lines.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia gachantivana

    (Cundinamarca Sage) This Colombian Salvia is difficult to obtain outside of its home country. As far as we know, Flowers by the Sea is the first nursery to offer it in the United States.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia gesneriiflora 'Mole Poblano'

    (Mexican Chocolate Scarlet Sage) Although this is a sister of Salvia gesneriiflora ‘Tequila’, it is shorter, more floriferous and has a longer bloom time. Similar to Tequila, the Mole Poblano variety has bright red flowers and dark purple calyxes.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia gesneriiflora 'Mountain Form'

    (Mexican Mountain Scarlet Sage) Dark red calyxes cup the large red flowers of this lovely Mexican native which blooms from early winter through spring. Although this clone of Salvia gesneriiflora is dwarf form, it grows 6 feet tall and wide similar to our other dwarf, Salvia gesneriiflora 'Green Calyx Form', which we've nicknamed "Tiny." We'll call this one "Tiny Too."
    10.50
     


  • Salvia gesneriiflora 'Tequila'

    (Big Mexican Scarlet Sage) This heavily blooming Salvia from Mexico has heart-shaped leaves and spectacular flower spikes up to 18 inches long from winter through spring. The blooms are bright red-orange with rich purple-black calyxes.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia gesneriiflora x madrensis

    (Cabrillo Giant Yellow Sage) Large apricot-yellow flowers are an attraction of this cross between two Mexican species -- Salvia madrensis (Forsythia Sage) and the volcanic sage Salvia gesneriiflora (Mexican Scarlet Sage).

    11.50
     


  • Salvia glechomifolia

    (Ground Ivy Sage) Native to Central Mexico's highlands, this creeping perennial grows at a altitudes of more than 10,000 feet and can handle some chill. Its common name comes from its scalloped yellow-green leaves, which resemble Ground Ivy or Glechoma.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia gravida

    (Gravid Sage) This tender perennial from Michoacán, Mexico, has large, rich magenta flowers that hang from the arching branches in clusters up to 12 inches long. Growing up to 5 feet tall, this sage offers an unforgettable display when in bloom.

    10.50
     




Additional Information

Cloud Forest Plants Entries
Take a Quick Look at a group of Salvias
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Reviews


Plant is doing well but not yet the showy plant described. Providing great late summer color and survived a week of 100+ temps without any attention.
Ms. linda allen
Sep 7, 2017