August 21, 2017

No, It’s Not Ugly

Salvia uliginosa - bog sage

Janine Pineo Photo | Salvia uliginosa – bog sage

Salvia uliginosa - bog sage

Janine Pineo Photo | Salvia uliginosa – bog sage

Salvia uliginosa has one of those names that at first glance might register as “ugly,” but it is far from it. The Latin name for this particular member of the mint family is derived from its native habitat of swamps and marshes in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. It also is the source for the common name, bog sage. With its delicate-looking appearance of gently branching plants, one might think S. uliginosa is fragile, too, but it is a strong grower and ferocious bloomer. And those blooms are nothing but charm, the azure of the bluest sky. It is hardy to Zone 6, which is a just a tiny part of Maine, but will grow vigorously as an annual elsewhere, lasting all summer long and not slowing down until a hard frost ends the growing season in fall. Bog salvia has one more stellar quality, that of a being a pollinator magnet: Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds adore it.