September 9, 2010

I've Fallen Hard...

Do you remember the feeling you had as a kid when you had your first crush?  You remember the cute, funny, smart (insert your favorite adjective here) one who captured your imagination and heart and you couldn't think of anyone else? 

Well seeing as how I'm married, happily for 20 years, I have to keep my crushes on the up and up.  So I have a plant crush.  Subconsciously I knew this plant was taking up a lot of mental space as I wandered the garden - I would find myself back in front of it several times giving it more than its fair share of attention.  But the plain truth of the crush became clearly evident the other night when I was going through my photos and I noticed a slew of pictures of this particular plant in all different kinds of light and at different angles.  For some reason it's particularly hard to focus on this little beauty.  Perhaps it's the way the flowers flutter at the slightest breeze or perhaps it's because the white of the flower is such a pure white.  It is so saturated with light that it literally glows in the sunlight.

My first memory of this flower was during a visit to The Wildflower Research Center in early spring.  It immediately caught my attention the way it lit up the understory of a large Mountain Laurel.   I later found one plant at Sunshine Nursery in Lakeway (it's been kind of hard to find in white).  Had they more, I would have thrown caution to the wind and bought them all!! 

Bear with me as I brag a little; just pretend that I'm a proud mama who just unfurled the twenty photos of her new baby...

Is that a collective "ahhh" I hear?  :-)

  Isn't she pretty...

The flowers are so dainty and amazingly white...

And look how she brightens up this shady spot under my oak tree...

And the bees love her too!  But of course they do...

See how her flowers glow?  I told you!

Not only do the bees love her but the spiders too - see the little web there to the left?

The hummingbirds are smitten with her too!  I'm hoping to have a whole sea of white tropical sage under my oak trees because I LOVE them!  Now I know what you're thinking; that too much of a good thing never works out but this time I know it's going to be different...

Common Name: Tropical Sage

Botanical Name: Salvia coccinea

Plant Type: Perennial

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7

AHS Heat Zone: 12 to 1

Light Requirements: Full Sun; Partial Shade; Full Shade

Water Usage: Low; Medium

Soil Type: Well-Drained

Height: 2 ft.

Spread: 1-1/2 ft.

Season of Bloom: May to October

Bloom Color: Red, White, Pink, Orange

Deciduous/Evergreen: Deciduous

Native TX Plant: Native

Wildlife Value: Hummingbirds, Butterflies (nectar source)

Re-seeding, tender perennial. Shear it to keep it smaller.


  1. I love the white blooms. I can see why you like this plant so much. I am going to have to keep my eye out for this one. Your photos are great and with pretty backgrounds. I can tell you have a lovely garden!!

  2. Amy, you have no idea!

    The white tropical sage is a winner. You certainly show it to advantage.


Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
"Pooh!" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."
~A.A. Milne

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