Victoria White

'Victoria White'
Mealy Sage


"Each grain of sand,
Every stone on the land,
Each rock and each hill,
Each fountain & rill,
Each herb and each tree,
Mountain, hill, earth, & sea,
Cloud, meteor, & star,
Are men seen afar."

-William Blake
(1757-1827)

   

Salvia farinacea 'Victoria White' is a color variant of the normal blue mealy sage, or mealy-cup sage, a tender perennial that in our region on Puget Sound is grown as a border annual. We planted it as a double-clump beside the bright blue S. farinacea 'Rhea.'

It's an upright sage to two or three feet including the white flower spikes, with the possibility of spreading to three feet in more southerly regions where it perennializes, but less than a foot wide for us.

Victoria WhiteThe species is native of the American southwest, mainly Texas, New Mexico, & into Mexico. In Texas where it grows wild, it dies to the ground in autumn but reappears qickly in early spring. For us, alas, it rots away in our wet winters, & only very occasionally make a come-back for a second year.

Some nurseries place them in the perennials section which for our zone is very misleading, as anyone who expects them to perennialize on Puget Sound is bound to be disappointed. Nurseries that are more on top of things put them amidst annuals, even if labeled as tender perennials. In places like southern California or its native Texas, of course, it can live for several years, & self-seed before it has worn itself out.

During its short life in Northwest gardens, it blooms almost continuously from May or June right up to the door of winter. It requires no special attention, fitting well into a xeriscape garden, although moister soil, so long as it is well-draining, doesn't harm it. It wants full sun, but we previously had 'Victoria Blue' in bright shade, where it bloomed its heart out just as nicely as in full sun, so I suspect other cultivars would do just as well if bright shade too.

   



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