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Salvia farinacea

Salvia Farinacea

This 2-3 ft. upright or sprawling perennial, usually forms a mound as wide as the plant is tall. Mealy sage is named for the mealy-white (sometimes purple) appearance of the sepals, which are covered with felted hairs. The blue flowers are 5-lobed and 2-lipped, 2/3–3/4 inch long, with 2 stamens and 1 pistil. They have the usual sage fragrance. The long, narrow leaves grow in clusters, out of which grow the flower stems. The leaves may or may not have teeth. Dark-blue to white, tubular flowers are densely congested in whorls along the upper stems, creating a 3-9 in. spike. Gray-green, lance-shaped leaves are numerous, especially in the lower portion of the plant.

This plant requires full or part-sun and will grow to 18″ or more with good soil and will attract butterflies and hummingbirds. The plant is hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones Zones 8-10.

COMMON NAMES

  • blue sage   (Source: Zander Ency ) – English
  • mealy sage   (Source: F Tex ) – English
  • mealy-cup sage   (Source: Hortus 3 ) – English
  • sauge farineuse   (Source: Zander Ency ) – French
  • mehliger Salbei   (Source: Zander Ency ) – German
  • daggsalvia   (Source: Vara kulturvaxt namn ) – Swedish 

GARDENING HELP

Common Name: mealycup sage
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Zone: 8 to 10
Native Range: Texas, Mexico
Height: 1 to 3 feet
Spread: 1 to 2 feet
Bloom Time: May to To frost
Bloom Color: Blue
Bloom Description: Violet blue
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flowers: Showy Flowers
Wildlife: Attracts Butterflies
Tolerates: Clay Soil, Dry Soil, Drought, Deer
Uses: Suitable as Annual

PROPAGATION

Propagation Material: Seeds , Softwood Cuttings
Description: Propagate by seed or cuttings.
Seed Collection: Collect the seeds as the capsules begin to dry but before they have dropped the seeds. Spread seeds in thin layers to dry a few days before storing in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Seed Treatment: Generally, a cold-moist stratification period is required for germination of Salvia seed. This species does require light for germination.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: After an extended period of flowering, you may wish to prune it halfway back to produce thicker, more compact foliage and a shorter flowering plant. Pruning may delay flowering for several weeks, but it is important in preventing leggy plants.

BENEFIT

Use Ornamental: It is an excellent plant for a flower bed, and is often planted in groupings to create an attractive mass of color. The leaves have a grayish cast which make a good contrast to lush green foliage of other plants. It is a good plant for a rock garden. Showy, Blooms ornamental, Mass planting, Perennial garden.
Use Wildlife: Nectar-Hummingbirds, Nectar-Bees
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies , Hummingbirds
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High

CULTURE

Tender perennial that is winter hardy to USDA Zones 8-10. Tolerates poor soils and some drought. Plants grown from seed sown directly in the ground after last frost date may not bloom. Seed should be started indoors 10-12 weeks before last frost date. Set out seedlings or purchased plants after last frost date. If desired, cut back and pot up several plants in fall or take cuttings in late summer for overwintering in a bright but cool sunny window.

NOTEWORTHY CHARACTERISTICS

Native to Texas and Mexico, mealycup sage is a shrubby, clump-forming, tender perennial that typically grows 1.5-3’ tall on erect, branching, square stems. It features two-lipped, violet-blue flowers in 4-8” axillary and terminal racemes from summer to fall. Drooping, irregularly-serrate, ovate-lanceolate, gray-green leaves (to 3” long). Common name and specific epithet are in reference to the white powdery felting found on the upper stems and calyx (“mealy” means covered with powdery meal, “cup” is in reference to the calyx shape and farinacea comes from the Latin word for flour or meal). Cultivars are available in various shades of blue, purple, lavender, white and bicolor.

PROBLEMS

No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to downy and powdery mildew.

GARDEN USES

Beds, borders, meadows, cottage gardens, cutting gardens.

DISTRIBUTION
USA: CT , FL , LA , NM , OH , OK , TX
Native Distribution: C. & w. TX & NM
Native Habitat: Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs, Woodlands edge, Opening, Dry calcalreous substrates

GENERAL INFORMATION

Symbol: SAFA2
Group: Dicot
Family: Lamiaceae
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Forb/herb
Native Status: L48   N

TAXONOMIC HIERARCHY

Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Lamiales
Family Lamiaceae – Mint family
Genus Salvia L. – sage
Species Salvia farinacea Benth. – mealycup sage

REFERENCES

USDA Natural Conservation Resources Service
ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network (SAFA2)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (SAFA2)
Kemper Center for Home Gardening (SAFA2)
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Information Network (SAFA2)
USF Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants (SAFA2)
Wikipedia.org

PHOTO COURTESY OF

plants.usda.gov and Smithsonian Institution

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Actaea Racemosa

Actaea Racemosa

COMMON NAMES

  • black cohosh
  • black bugbane
  • bugbane
  • black snakeroot
  • fairy candles

GARDENING HELP

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: 3 to 8 feet tall
Flower: Flowers in 6 to 24 inch spikes
Fruit: Tan
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

BLOOM INFORMATION
Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: Blooms for 2 to 3 weeks, beginning in May near the coast and in June in the mountains.

GROWING CONDITIONS

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Moderately acid, humus-rich loam. Can grow in acid over lime.
Conditions Comments: Best light is an hour or 2 of morning sun.

PROPAGATION

Propagation Material: Root Division , Seeds
Description: Propagate by division in spring or fall or plant seeds outside in fall. Seedlings take one or two years to germinate; three or four years to flower.
Seed Collection: Approximate collection date in northern U.S.: mid Sep. to late Oct.
Commercially Avail: yes

BENEFIT

Use Ornamental: White summer flowers for shady spots.
Use Medicinal: The bad odour of this plant is repellent to bugs, which accounts for the common and genus name. The root was used in the 1800s to treat various conditions, ranging from snakebite and lung inflammations, to the pains of childbirth. (Niering)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Spring Azure

CULTURE

Easily grown in average, medium moisture soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers humusy, organically rich, moisture-retentive soils. Foliage tends to scorch and otherwise depreciate if soils are allowed to dry out. Best sited in locations sheltered from strong winds. This is a slow-to-establish plant.

NOTEWORTHY CHARACTERISTICS

Black cohosh is an upright, Missouri native perennial which occurs in rocky woods in the Ozark region of the State. It typically grows to a total height (foliage plus flowering spikes) of 4-6’, but under optimum conditions can reach 8’. Small, numerous, creamy white, fragrant flowers appear in late summer to early fall in long, terminal racemes resembling fluffy spires (typically 1-2’ long) rising well above the foliage on wiry stems. Astilbe-like, deeply cut, tripinnate foliage is an attractive deep green. Synonymous with and formerly known as Cimicifuga racemosa. All plants in the genus Cimicifuga have recently been transferred to the genus Actaea. The common name of bugbane is in reference to the odoriferous insect repellant properties of this plant. Cohosh comes from an Algonquin word meaning rough in reference to the appearance of plant rhizomes.

PROBLEMS

No serious insect or disease problems. Rust and leaf spot are occasional problems. Foliage generally does not need staking, but taller flower spires may need some support. Flower spires tend to bend toward bright light, particularly when plants are grown in substantial shade. Leaf margins may brown up (scorch) and growth may slow down if soils are not kept consistently moist.

GARDEN USES

Adds architectural height and late summer bloom to a shaded part of the border or shade garden. Also effective in woodland gardens, cottage gardens and naturalized areas. Best in groups, although single plants have good specimen value once established. White flower spires are generally more demonstrative in front of darker backgrounds. Deep green foliage provides excellent texture and color to the landscape throughout the growing season.

DISTRIBUTION

USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV
Canada: ON , QC
Native Distribution: W. MA to s. Ont. & WI, s. to GA & n. AR; escaped in n. & e. New England; Coastal plain to 4000 ft in mountains. Zones 5 to 7
Native Habitat: Rich woods & woodland openings

GENERAL INFORMATION

Symbol: ACRAR
Group: Dicot
Family: Ranunculaceae
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Forb/herb
Native Status: CAN   N
L48   N
Data Source and Documentation

TAXONOMIC HIERARCHY

Rank Scientific Name and Common Name
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Magnoliidae
Order Ranunculales
Family Ranunculaceae – Buttercup family
Genus Actaea L. – baneberry
Species Actaea racemosa L. – black baneberry
Variety Actaea racemosa L. var. racemosa – black bugbane

REFERENCES

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Missouri Botanical Garden
Wikipedia.org

PHOTO COURTESY OF

MORE IMAGES
Images of Actaea Racemosa

COMMON NAMES

GARDENING HELP

PROPAGATION

BENEFIT

CULTURE

NOTEWORTHY CHARACTERISTICS

PROBLEMS

GARDEN USES

DISTRIBUTION

GENERAL INFORMATION

TAXONOMIC HIERARCHY

REFERENCES

PHOTO COURTESY OF

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achillea millefolium

Achillea Millefolium

Yarrow grows to 3 feet tall and has no branches except near the top. The leaves are alternate, 3-5 inches long, with many leaflets on each side of the midrib (1- pinnately lobed); and these are further divided into smaller leaflets, giving them a delicate, fernlike, lacy appearance. Flower heads are arranged in large, compact clusters at the top of the stem, each cluster consisting of 1 or more flower heads. The flower head has 20-25 yellowish-white (rarely pink) ray flowers and similarly colored disk flowers.

Achillea millefolium is highly variable and has been treated both as a single species with varieties and as multiple distinct species. A. millefolium is cosmopolitan throughout the Northern Hemisphere. In North America, A. millefolium is a complex of both native and introduced plants and their hybrids.

COMMON NAMES

  • milfoil   (Source: World Econ Pl ) – English
  • yarrow   (Source: World Econ Pl ) – English
  • yang shi cao   (Source: F Taiwan ) – Transcribed Chinese
  • achillée millefeuille   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – French
  • herbe à dinde   (Source: F NAmer ) – French
  • mille-feuille   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – French
  • gewöhnliche Schafgarbe   (Source: Zander ed17 ) – German
  • Schafgarbe   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – German
  • Wiesen-Schafgarbe   (Source: Zander ed17 ) – German
  • millefoglio   (Source: Mult Glossary Crops ) – Italian
  • seoyangtobpul   (Source: F Korea ) – Transcribed Korean
  • milefólio   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Portuguese
  • tysâčelistnik obyknovennyj   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – Transliterated Russian
  • milenrama   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Spanish
  • röllika   (Source: Vara kulturvaxt namn ) – Swedish

GARDENING HELP
Common Name: yarrow
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 1.5 to 2 feet
Spread: 1.5 to 2 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Color: Pink, Red, White, Lavender, Yellow
Bloom Description: Wide range of pastel colors
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flowers: Showy Flowers
Leaves: Fragrant
Wildlife: Attracts Butterflies
Tolerates: Dry Soil, Drought, Deer
Uses: Cut Flower, Dried Flower, Will Naturalize

PROPAGATION

Propagation Material: Seeds
Seed Collection: Light tan at maturity, seeds mature in late summer and early fall. Collect entire inflorescence and dry before cleaning.
Seed Treatment: Direct seeding.
Commercially Avail: yes

BENEFIT

Use Ornamental: This is a good garden plant, as it can be used in fresh or dried arrangements and has a pleasing fragrance. Flat-topped clusters of small, whitish flowers grow at the top of a gray-green, leafy, usually hair, stem.
Use Medicinal: Yarrow was formerly used for medicinal purposes: to break a fever by increasing perspiration, to treat hemorrhaging and as a poultice for rashes. A tea used by Native Americans to cure stomach disorders was made by steeping the leaves.
Use Other: The foliage has a pleasant smell when crushed.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes

CULTURE

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Tends to spread quickly and lodge easily. Cut back after bloom and divide plants when clumps become overcrowded.

NOTEWORTHY CHARACTERISTICS

A massed planting will provide a variety of pastel flower shades, including pink, red, white, yellow, salmon, orange and mauve. Tiny flowers are densely packed in large, flat-topped, terminal flower clusters (corymbs) which are 2 to 3″ across. Green leaves are deeply-cut, fern-like and aromatic when crushed. Tolerant of heat and humidity, but flower colors may fade in extended, hot summer weather. Drought tolerant once established. Long summer bloom period may be extended by prompt removal of faded flower heads. 1990 AAS winner.

PROBLEMS

Powdery mildew and stem rot are infrequent problems. Does poorly in wet sites or in heavy, poorly drained soils.

GARDEN USES

An excellent perennial for massing in the perennial border, wild garden or meadow.

DISTRIBUTION

USA: AK , AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , HI , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , NT , NU , ON , PE , QC , SK , YT
Native Distribution: Most of temperate North America.
Native Habitat: Common on disturbed soils throughout Texas.

GENERAL INFORMATION

General Information
Symbol: ACMI2
Group: Dicot
Family: Asteraceae
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Forb/herb
Native Status: HI   I
GL   N
AK   N
CAN   I,N
SPM   I,N
L48   I,N
Other Common Names: milenrama
milfoil
Characteristics
Fact Sheet (pdf) (doc)
Plant Guide (pdf) (doc)
Data Source and Documentation

TAXONOMIC HIERARCHY

Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Asterales
Family Asteraceae – Aster family
Genus Achillea L. – yarrow
Species Achillea millefolium L. – common yarrow

REFERENCES

USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service
ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network (ACMI2)
Kemper Center for Home Gardening (ACMI2)
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Information Network (ACMI2)
Wikipedia.org

PHOTO COURTESY OF

MORE IMAGES
Images of Achillea Millefolium