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Salvia microphylla 'Cerro Potosi'

Common Name:
Cherry sage
Plant Type:
Evergreen shrub
Lamiaceae (The Mint Family)
Geographic Origin:
California Native?:
Plant Size:
2-3 feet high by 6 feet wide
Landscape/Garden Uses:
Mixed plantings
Flowering Season:
Spring to fall
Flower Color:
Purplish red
Sun or light shade
Most soils
Suggested Irrigation:
Moderate to occasional watering
Estimated Hardiness:
Hardy to 15-20 degrees F.
Salvia microphylla is part of a botanical complex with S. greggii, S. muelleri and S. coahuilensis. Distinguishing them sometimes requires a trained botanist, though each has many beautiful forms. This species, which is found from southern Arizona to southern Mexico, is extremely variable. It is a profusely branched shrub with slender young stems and usually small, flat, green leaves, larger than those of S. greggii. The flowers are of variable size, up to perhaps one inch long and broad, much like those of S. greggii in form, and borne most of the year in loose clusters at the shoot tips. 'Cerro Potosi' is an especially sturdy selection featuring generous quantities of magenta red flowers set on near black stems against dark green leaves. The advantage of planting S. microphylla (or disadvantage in small spaces) is that the plants tend to spread by undergound stems to form a large patch over time.