Friday, September 28, 2012

Lepechinia hastata

There are times when I might like to write about a certain plant for my Pick of the Week column but it's not widely enough available to qualify. Such is the case for Lepechinia hastata, a salvia relative hailing from of all places, Hawaii. It's a vigorous, evergreen perennial that can reach three feet high and wide. It features large, silvery, felty aromatic leaves that alone make this plant worth adding to your dry garden. The flowers are equally noteworthy, a rich burgundy maroon color that appear both along the stem and in clusters above the foliage. Like many salvias, it blooms in the fall period. My 4" plant grew quickly and has produced its first flowers this week. Annie's Annuals says it's hardy to 0 degrees so no problem for Bay Area gardeners. Hard to describe the aroma but it's very pleasant. Fast growing, drought tolerant and beautiful. Three words that are music to gardeners' ears. Here's a photo of my plant plus a few other photos from my late September garden. In order they are:

Lepechinia. The true plant ID is from its flowers and from this we see the salvia connection here.
Hebe Paul Evans. My favorite hebe, with its deep maroon new growth and pretty flowers.
Echinacea Summer Sky. Bees love this plant for its nectar rich flowers.
Swainsona. This evergreen shrub has been the star of my Aussie natives plot and a bee favorite to boot!
Salvia azurea. Light blue flowers are a personal fave and I guess this moth would agree.
Echium fastuosum. I think this stage, when the silvery rosette is at its most perfect form, is the height of its beauty.
Isoplexis. A Canary Islands native, this short lived perennial offers lovely hooded rusty tones.

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