There are salvias that are native to practically every region of the world. One that is native to the rocky soils in Central, West, and South Texas, as well as Mexico, is Salvia greggii, often called autumn sage or cherry sage. I grow many different kinds of salvia in my garden, but I have to admit a particular fondness for Salvia greggii.
These salvias are characterized by small, dull pale green, glandular, aromatic leaves. They are essentially small evergreen shrubs that have a loose, open growth. They normally have red flowers, although, through the work of horticulturists, you can now find them in many different colors, including orange, yellow, fuchsia, salmon, purple, red-violet, burgundy, as well as some with white variegation in the leaves.
|This is the typical form of autumn sage with its cherry-colored flowers.|
|A close-up of the flowers. Although the plant is known as "autumn sage," in our climate, the plants bloom sporadically throughout the year, but it usually reaches its peak of bloom at this time of year.|
|Another variety has flowers that start as red and turn white as they age. This particular variety is called 'Hot Lips.'|
|A close-up of the flowers shows how the plant got its name. Don't they look like red-lipsticked lips?|
The plants will grow in sun or partial sun. It even stands up to our broiling hot summer sun and it is drought tolerant, requiring little or no supplementary water and virtually no care - the perfect plant for lazy gardeners. And that's why it is my favorite sage.