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Salvia nubicola


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Salvia nubicola

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Description

(Himalayan Cloud Sage) Nepal's Muktinath Valley -- a sacred site for Hindus and Buddhists -- is the place to go to see this majestically tall shade perennial in the wild. It grows at altitudes up to 14,000 feet and often emerges while the ground is still snowy.

The creamy yellow flowers have thin purple markings and bloom throughout summer. They grow about 1 to 1 1/2 inches long on flower spikes that rise up 4 feet or taller by late summer. 

In America, this fragrant, cold-hardy sage is adaptable from USDA Zone 5 to 10. In cooler climates, it grows well in full sun whereas a bit of shade is best In warmer zones. We find that it thrives in rich, well-drained garden soil with ample water. However, it is resilient and survives in less than ideal conditions.

Use this sage in mixed perennial borders and moist woodland gardens. It is also eye-catching as an accent plant and sensual due to its fragrance. You might want to try it in locations where you are likely to brush against it, such as an entryway. 

We love and highly recommend this one. Demand often exceeds supply; deer resist it, but customers can't.
 

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Common name  
Himalayan Cloud Sage
USDA Zones  
5 - 10
Size (h/w/fh)  
48"+/36"+/48"+
Exposure  
Full sun to partial shade
Soil type  
Well drained & rich
Water needs  
Average
Pot size  
3 1/2 inch deep pot
Container plant?  
Yes
Our price
10.50

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Here are some guidelines for success with this plant in your garden.
Click on an individual icon for more detailed information.

Exposure

Full sun
Full sun
Heat tolerant
Heat tolerant
Partial shade
Partial shade

Garden Uses

Container plant
Container plant
Fragrant
Fragrant

Growing Habit

5 - 10
5 - 10
48 inches tall+
48 inches tall+
36 inches wide+
36 inches wide+
Perennial
Perennial

Water Needs

Average water
Average water

Blooming Season

Summer blooming
Summer blooming

Wildlife

Deer resistant
Deer resistant
Ready for some pruning?

Rosette growing herbaceous perennial Salvias

These are herbaceous perennial species with low mounds of foliage and flowers on stems that grow erect from the base of the plant.

Pruning is both an art and a science. It takes practice, experience and learning from your mistakes to become a proficient pruner. The pruning information about this plant should be considered as a guideline for getting started. Your particular climate, soils, watering and fertility schedules, sun exposure, space requirements and weather are all factors that influence how and when you choose to prune. We’re providing a starting place for you, and over time you will learn the particularities of this plant in your garden. Don’t be afraid to get started – Salvias, in general, are quick to rebound if inappropriately pruned.

Deadheading – the removal of spent flowers, is a practice that will always benefit the plant’s health and appearance. This can be done at any time. Pruning involves removal of entire stems of spent growth. Becoming "spent" means that flowering stems stop blooming and begin going to seed.

Growing Season Pruning

During spring and summer, completely remove any flowering stems that become spent.


Dormant Season Pruning

At the end of the season, cut to ground any remaining flower stems.


Check the Views from the Garden section of our Everything Salvias Blog for videos that apply to this plant.

  • Salvia campanulata

    (Campanula Leaf Sage) Spectacular yellow-flowering Salvias are rare, so this one stands out. Its large, almost round leaves form a basal clump that is attractive and tough. Bright yellow flowers arise from the clump on stems up to 48 inches tall.

    This hardy herbaceous perennial comes from the mountains of Central China and is rarely seen in the United States. We highly recommend this moisture-tolerant plant for shady perennial borders and woodland-style gardens.

    12.50

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  • Salvia gesneriiflora x madrensis

    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).

    Botanists from Central California’s Cabrillo College hybridized this sunny-looking sage that does well in situations where moisture ranges from regular watering to ample quantities of rainfall.

    Plant explorers from Southern California's Huntington Gardens discovered one of its parents -- Salvia gesneriiflora -- while visiting Volcan de Tequila in the Mexican Province of Jalisco.

    Some varieties of Mexican Scarlet Sage reach heights and widths of 10 feet whereas Forsythia Sage can grow up to 10 feet tall, but usually no more than 3 feet wide. This hybrid, which reaches up to 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide, works well as a background planting or in tall borders. It blooms from summer to fall and attracts hummingbirds.

    Cabrillo Giant grows well in full sun to partial shade and does best with rich, well-drained soil. Screen it from wind to avoid breakage of woody branches.

    11.50

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  • Salvia glabrescens 'Elk Yellow & Purple'

    (Makino) The unusual flower color and short, mounding growth of this clone of Salvia glabrascens -- a woodland Japanese native -- make it distinctive. The blossoms are nearly clear yellow with striking purple beelines.

    This is a good choice for moist, shady garden spots, but can take a bit of morning sun. Makino cultivars are hardy as long as they receive plenty of shade, water and soil that is rich and well-drained. In autumn, short flower spikes rise out of compact, basal foliage, creating a gracefully proportioned look.

    This herbaceous sage should be seen up close both for its extraordinary flowers and lush foliage. Plant it in a container, along a shady pathway or as a woodland groundcover. Although slow growing, this tough yet lovely sage is worth the wait. Fortunately, deer don't like it.

    15.00
  • Salvia glabrescens 'Shi Ho'

    (Makino) We would grow this rare clone of the woodland Japanese native Salvia glabrescens even if it never flowered, because the hairless, arrow-shaped foliage is so lush, toothed and colorful. As they age, the arrow-shaped leaves transform from yellowish green to dark green.

    This is a plant for moist, shady garden spots, but can take a bit of morning sun. It is hardy as long as it receives plenty of shade, water and soil that is rich and well-drained. In autumn, short spikes of small, pink and purple two-tone flowers rise out of compact basal foliage, creating a gracefully proportioned look.

      Makino should be seen up close both for its extraordinary flowers and lush foliage. Plant it in a container, along a shady pathway or as a woodland groundcover. Although slow growing, this tough yet lovely sage is worth the wait. Fortunately, deer don't like it.

    15.00
  • Salvia glutinosa

    (Jupiter's Distaff) Easy to grow and adaptable to a wide range of conditions, this native of Europe and Asia is our best tall, yellow-flowering perennial. Although its common name compares the flower spikes to wool spindles, they look more like glowing sceptres.

    Honeybees and butterflies love this long-flowering, drought-resistant Salvia, which is found in a wide sweep of mountains from the Alps in Europe to the Himalayas in Asia.  It has been used as a medicinal garden herb for millennia.

    This sage does well in dry or moist conditions and in full sun or partial shade. Its bright yellow flowers and lush foliage blend well in mixed plantings, borders and cut flower arrangements. 

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia koyamae

    (Shinano-akigiri) Japan's largest island, Honshu, is home to Salvia koyamae, a shade- and moisture-loving herbaceous perennial. It is notable for arrow-shaped foliage and translucent, yellow flowers blooming from late summer into fall.

    Large and lush, the yellow-green hairy leaves of this sage form loose, gently spreading clumps. Although it can tolerate some morning sun, this is a shade-loving sage. It is a hardy choice for shady groundcovers, borders, containers, woodland settings and moist areas.

    An underused gem of a plant, Salvia koyamae and presents the added bonus of being disagreeable to deer. Highly recommended.

    10.50
  • Salvia miltiorrhiza

    (Red Sage, Chinese Sage, Dan-shen)  The bright red, finger-like roots of Salvia miltiorrhiza have a long history in traditional Chinese  herbal  medicine.  We offer this important plant on a limited basis.

    WebMD reports that Danshen is used in Asia to treat a number of cardiovascular problems and "appears to thin the blood by preventing platelet and blood clotting." It is the subject of ongoing medical research.

    Danshen has fragrant lavender flowers that bloom in summer and seem to glow in the shade. This woodland plant grows well in partial shade. It prefers rich, well-drained soil and can handle ample moisture. Native to Asia, including areas that experience winter chill, it grows well in USDA Zones 6 to 9.

    This is a petite plant rising from 12 to 24 inches tall. Danshen looks lovely in mixed borders with Hostas and other woodland plants. It is also a fine choice for edging shady pathways where you can view it up close.

    12.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia nipponica 'Fuji Snow'

    (Variegated Japanese Woodland Sage) Irregular white margins surrounding deep green make the triangular leaves of this fine Japanese forest sage lighten the shade. In fall, pale yellow flowers add to the standout effect.

    Pennsylvania plantsman Barry Yinger, who specializes in Asian plants, deserves thanks for introducing this heat-tolerant, cold-hardy clone from Japan. In America, it thrives in USDA Zones 6 to 9.

    Similar to other varieties of Japanese Woodland Sage, this one thrives in many kinds of shade including full shade and settings where morning sun and afternoon shade are available. Give it plenty of water and rich, well-drained soil.

    Aside from being a fine container plant, this sage works well in perennial borders, along a path and as groundcover.
    10.50
  • Salvia pachyphylla 'Blue Flame'

    (Giant Purple Desert Sage) It’s best to plant this flamboyant native of the Southwest in spring or summer. However, once established, it tolerates winters from USDA Zones 5 to 9. Purple tubular flowers and burgundy bracts flare up its 10-inch flower spikes like flames on this softly rounded shrub.

    Fragrant, drought resistant and heat tolerant, this is a sage that isn’t particular about soils as long as they drain well. Give this shrub lots of sunshine and little water for best performance.  We have learned by experience that this species grows best where there are definite seasons, and where the winters are not particularly wet.  They thrive in Denver, and languish in Los Angeles.

    Blue Flame’s improbably lush flowers are offset by mid-green foliage. It does well in dry, gravelly gardens as a groundcover, border or pathway edging and is just right for a native garden focusing on the Southwest or a wide variety of American native species.

    Expect Blue Flame to grow up to 36 inches tall and 24 inches wide and to flower from summer to fall. Expect to fall in love with it; certainly butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds do. Luckily, deer avoid it.

    Thanks for the beautiful photo go to high-altitude plant expert Panayoti Kelaidis, senior curator and director of outreach at Denver Botanic Gardens.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia przewalskii var. mandarinorum

    (Dan-shen Gansu) Growing into a large basal rosette of leaves measuring up to 3 feet across, Salvia przewalskii var. mandarinorum is known for its handsome foliage.

    In summer, tall spikes of rich purple flowers rise above the large, wrinkled leaves, which are yellow-green on top and wooly, rusty brown underneath.

    The scientific name of this species honors Nikolay Przhevalsky, a Polish-Russian geographer whose 19th century explorations of Asia increased knowledge about the continent's plants and wildlife. This sage is a traditional medicinal herb from the mountains of Central China. Its therapeutic herbal uses are similar to those of Salvia miltiorrhiza, which is commonly known as Dan-shen.

    This tough sage does best in partial shade in USDA Zones 4 to 9. It grows slowly, but eventually reaches 24 to 48 inches tall and 36 inches wide. Although this woodland plant only needs average watering that is based on local conditions, it also handles damp spots. It can be grown as a groundcover, container plant, edging or part of a perennial border.

    Highly recommended.

    12.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia yunnanensis

    (Yunnan Sage or yun nan shu wei cao) Yunnan Sage's tall spikes of violet-to-purple flowers bloom from summer into fall. Native to Southwestern China's provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan, it grows on shady, grassy hillsides and along forest margins at elevations up to 9,500 feet.

    This is an important medicinal sage in Asia. Its bright red taproots are made into herbal remedies used to strengthen the immune system. Research laboratories are just now identifying the active ingredients, after a millennium of use by the Chinese.

    Yunnan Sage tolerates cold as well as heat. It needs partial to full shade, average to plentiful water and well-drained soil. Plant it in moist areas, woodland gardens, perennial borders and along pathways where you can see it close up.

    Highly recommended!

    15.00

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Arisaema consanguineum 'Poseidon'

    (Himalayan Cobra Lily) As its name implies, Poseidon is a tall, commanding Arisaema. We offer you a well-established clump that will reward you by blooming the first year that you plant it.

    Poseidon's spathe is deep green and purple. It is a leaf-like blossom that wraps around and hangs over the finger-like spadix with its tip coming to a long, thin point. It looks a bit like a cobra hissing. Its blue-green, radial leaves spread out like spokes at the top of the plant's stalk -- called a psuedostem -- and have silver stripes down the center of each blade. Give this majestic plant full sun to partial shade and rich, well-drained soil.

    Most Arisaemas are from Asia where they are known as Cobra Lilies. Arisaema consanguineum is native to lowlands as well as alpine areas in China, India, Taiwan, Thailand and Tibet. North American species are commonly called Jack in the Pulpit.

    Plantswoman Ellen Hornig, who is particularly renowned for the Arisaemas she grew at the former Seneca Hill Perennials nursery in Ithaca, New York, bred this excellent cultivar. It grows well in full sun and survives chilly winters.

    Arisaemas are used medically in herbal formulas, but should be carefully processed for safe consumption.

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    OUT OF STOCK

  • Arisaema ciliatum

    (Himalayan Cobra Lily) Although significantly shorter than Arisaema consanguineum, this woodland species also has radial leaves like the spokes in an umbrella. We offer you well-established clumps that will reward you by blooming the first year you plant them.

    The plant's spathe, which is purple to maroon with cream stripes, is a leaf-like blossom that wraps around and hangs over the plant's greenish, finger-like spadix. Mid-green foliage spreads out at the top of the plant's stalk, which is called a psuedostem.

    Give this plant full sun to partial shade and rich, well-drained soil. It survives chilly winters.

    Most Arisaemas are from Asia where they are known as Cobra Lilies. This one is native to China's Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces. In contrast, North American species of Arisaemas are commonly called Jack in the Pulpit, with the spathe being likened to a lectern.

    Arisaemas are used medically in herbal formulas, but should be carefully processed for safe consumption.

    17.00
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Composing a Symphony of Pastel Salvias Including Elk Rainbow Sages

Composing a Symphony of Pastel Salvias Including Elk Rainbow Sages


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Sep 10, 2013 08:23 AM
Synopsis: If you want to orchestrate a peaceful symphony in a flowerbed, planting a profusion of pastels is one way to do it. Pastels are lighter hues of bright primary and secondary colors. Although gardeners often visualize bright colors when thinking of Salvias, there are a number of pastels in the genus such as among the Jame Sage Hybrids (Salvia x jamensis spp.), including many in the new Flowers by the Sea Elk Rainbow Series.
Cleanup in the Garden: Healthy Pruning and Mulching of Salvia

Cleanup in the Garden: Healthy Pruning and Mulching of Salvia


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Oct 1, 2012 04:21 PM
Synopsis: Sometimes it’s wise not to get too tidy in the garden. When preparing Salvias for Winter dormancy, moderation is the rule. Regional climate affects how much trimming and mulching are necessary in late autumn.
Six Herbaceous Chinese Salvias for Shady Summer-to-Fall Bloom

Six Herbaceous Chinese Salvias for Shady Summer-to-Fall Bloom


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Aug 28, 2012 04:20 PM
Synopsis: Creating a flower garden in partial shade is not as challenging as planting in full shade, yet it requires selecting the right plants. Herbaceous Chinese Salvias and one standout Himalayan species, Salvia nubicola, can form a harmoniously composed partial-shade garden that will attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees as well as your pleased eye.
I like Amstiad

Hummingbirds love Salvia (sage) nectar and are attracted to it by the bright colors of tubular sage blossoms. In particular, these little whirlybirds can easily spot flowers in the red spectrum, which is prevalent among sages. Here are some hummingbird gardening tips.


  1. Go tubular. Hummingbirds need tubular flowers that are easy for long, thin beaks to access.
  2. Provide lots of color. Think of yourself as a cafeteria manager who needs to provide many tempting choices in order to attract business. Red, pink, orange and purple sages are particularly powerful hummingbird magnets.
  3. Keep your garden blooming. Plant a variety of Salvias based not only on color but also a broad span of bloom times. Many flower from spring into fall. Others are prolific fountains of nectar for shorter seasons. Numerous winter-blooming species are available for areas that are home to hummingbirds year round.
  4. Grow sages native to the Western Hemisphere. Although hummingbirds will take advantage of many kinds of tubular flowering plants, these tiny birds are native to the Western Hemisphere and prefer flowering plants native to their half of the world.
  5. Select Salvia companion plants. Hummingbirds appreciate a variety of favorite tubular-flowered plants.
  6. Plant hummingbird gardens near cover. Trees and bushes surrounding feeding areas provide protection from predators and chilly, rainy weather.
  7. Don't use pesticides. Insects provide protein for hummingbirds, so don't kill these food sources.
  8. Provide water. Hummingbirds frolic in misters and shallow birdbaths.
  9. Supplement plantings with feeder tubes. Change the sugar water every few days and don't add food coloring. Keep the feeders clean, but don't scrub them with soaps or detergents. Here is more feeder care information.
  10. Read more. Our Everything Salvias Blog offers a number of articles about hummingbirds.
Hey, got any greens?

If you live in suburbs or rural areas where deer plunder gardens, Salvias (sages) can be part of your plan for discouraging these hungry visitors. Here are some tips.


  1. Mask smells that deer like with aromatic sages. Deer and other members of the Cervidae family, such as elk, mostly leave Salvias alone. One theory is that they don't like the fragrance or taste of sage chemicals. Strategically planting sages near vegetable gardens or fruit trees -- elixir to deer -- may prevent consumption.
  2. Grow hedges including Salvias. Prickly hedges, including hairy-leafed Salvias and exceptionally thorny roses, can discourage deer from entering your yard. They don't like the mouth-feel of those textures. Tall hedges also hide strawberry beds and other yummy plantings from view.
  3. Don't overplant one species. Grow a variety of Salvias in case local deer take an unexpected liking to one species of sage.
  4. Fence deer out. Install electric fences or 8-foot wood or metal fences around particularly vulnerable areas. Make sure electric fencing is turned on during the peak feeding seasons of early spring and late fall.
  5. Use motion-detection tools. Install outdoor lighting that is activated by movement.
  6. Let the dogs out. Deer are especially wary of large dogs.
  7. Surround and cover. Wrap tough plastic around the trunks of trees that have tasty bark and cover foliage with bird netting when trees and bushes are fruiting.
  8. Change yard ornaments periodically. Objects such as scarecrows, statuary and cordons of monofilament string with strips of shiny foil attached cause deer to shy away.
  9. Make safe choices. Research repellants you plan to use to make sure they aren't poisonous.
  10. Be flexible and ready to share a bit. There is no such thing as a completely deer-resistant garden.