August 24, 2017

Minty-fresh Texan

Salvia greggii 'Nuevo Leon'

Janine Pineo Photo | Salvia greggii 'Nuevo Leon'

Native to a swath of Texas and south to Mexico is Salvia greggii, known as autumn sage. It grows there mainly on rocky slopes, according to wildflower.org, and makes a “mounding shrub” that can top out at 3 feet. The native species is hardy to Zone 8 and has blossoms in shades of red, pink, purple, orange or white. Pictured is cultivar ‘Nuevo Leon,’ a gorgeously purple specimen that blossoms all summer long. Part of the mint family, S. greggii has aromatic leaves that smell minty and stay evergreen in warmer environs. Being a Texas native, it tolerates heat and full sun quite easily in Maine, making it a perfect annual for drier spots in the garden. An added bonus? It readily attracts bees, hummingbirds and butterflies.