Perovskia atriplicifolia

2 Aug

Perovskia atriplicifolia (01/07/2009, Thames Barrier Park, London)

Perovskia atriplicifolia (01/07/2009, Thames Barrier Park, London)

Position: Full sun

Soil: Well drained soil

Flowering period: Summer and autumn

Eventual Height: 1.2m

Eventual Spread: 1m

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Lamiaceae

Perovskia atriplicifolia is a deciduous sub-shrub with an upright habit. Its grey-white stems bear narrowly ovate and coarsely toothed leaves, which are fragrant when crushed. From summer to mid autumn it bears double lipped, violet blue, hermaphroditic flowers in long slender spikes.

Perovskia atriplicifolia flower (10/07/2011, Thames Barrier Park, London)

Perovskia atriplicifolia flower (10/07/2011, Thames Barrier Park, London)

Perovskia atriplicifolia, commonly known as Russian Sage, is native to many parts of central Asia including Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Tibet.  Its flowers have been traditionally eaten fresh in salads and it also has a long history as a medicinal herb used to treat many illnesses such as diabetes, dysentery and in the reduction of fevers.

The etymological root of the binomial name Perovskia was named for General Vasily Alekseevich Perovski (1794-1857), a 19th century imperial Russian general and statesman. Atriplicifolia is derived from the Latin, meaning that its foliage is similar to that of members of the Atriplex genus.

Perovskia atriplicifolia may be useful to the landscape architect as a low maintenance, aromatic flowering plant. It is also drought tolerant and suitable for xeriscaping.

The Royal Horticultural Society gave the cultivar Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993 and reconfirmed its status in 2001.

Perovskia atriplicifolia will tolerate almost any soil conditions; it will be happy at neutral, acid or alkaline pH levels, in loam, clay, chalk or sand based soils facing any sheltered or exposed aspect. It is also drought tolerant once established.

Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Blue Spire' Leaf (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Blue Spire’ Leaf (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically,  Perovskia atriplicifolia will attract various species pollinating insects such as butterflies and honey bees.

Perovskia atriplicifolia requires little to no maintenance. Dead or damaged material may be removed in early spring and pruning back to near the woody framework may improve flowering.

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2 Responses to “Perovskia atriplicifolia”

  1. sadreewebdesign 02/08/2011 at 23:59 #

    Nice picture

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