A small group of herbaceous perennials and compact woody sub-shrubs with heavily-felted leaves and a free and open structure. Loved for their whorls of abundant yellow summer flowers.
Family: Lamiaceae (mint)
Botanical Name: Phlomis
Common Names: Turkish sage, Jerusalem sage
Foliage: Herbaceous or evergreen, sage-like, grey/green leaves, covered in fine hairs.
Flowers: Yellow or pink hooded flowers appear in whorls, often in tiers.
Flowering Period: Summer (June to July).
Soil: Moist but well-drained fertile soil (chalk, sand or loam). Any pH.
Conditions: Full sun. Can be grown in a south, east or west-facing aspect, in a sheltered location.
Habit: Mound-forming with upright shoots.
Type: Shrub or herbaceous perennial.
Origin: Eastern Mediterranean and southwestern Asia.
Hardiness: Most varieties are hardy in the UK.
Plant outside in early autumn or spring. Container grown plants can be planted out at any reasonable time of year.
Moist free draining soil. Best in full sun. Useful in the herbaceous or mixed border.
Water thoroughly during dry weather until well established. Mulch with organic matter in spring and apply a general fertilizer suitable for shrubs.
Cut back some of the old wood each year to promote new growth. The seed heads can be left on the plant duriing winter for architectural effect and cut back in the spring.
Generally pest and disease free.
Can be propagated from either from softwood cuttings or from seed sown in spring.
Phlomis fruticosa (Jerusalem Sage), is the most common species grown in the UK. An open shrub with small whorls of yellow flowers. Height to 39in (1m ), spread to 5ft (1.5m). Available from Burncoose Nurseries. The cultivar 'Edward Bowles' has paler flowers and larger leaves.
Phlomis italica is a dwarf form with lilac or pink flowers. Slightly tender in UK. Height to 12in (30cm), spread 24in (60cm). Available from Crocus.
Phlomis purpurea is a tender dwarf form with a sprawling habit and dark pink flowers. The strain 'Alba' has grey-green leaves and fragrant white flowers. Height and spread 24in (60cm). Available from Burncoose Nurseries.
Phlomis tuberosa Amazone produces tall stems with tiered whorls of lilac flowers. Height to 4ft (1.2m ), spread to 3ft (90cm). Available from Crocus.