Phlomis fruticosa

Jerusalem Sage

phlomis fruticosa

Jerusalem Sage is a very striking and unusual plant to add to your drought tolerant or deer resistant garden. The fuzzy gray-green leaves seem unpalatable to deer and being a Meditteranean native makes it a great choice for our dry summers. It acts as more of a shrub than perennial, staying evergreen in all but the coldest winters. Ours died back to the ground this past winter, when it got to 7 degrees but came back full and lush this summer. It can grow to 4' tall and wide but can be pruned in fall to keep it more compact.

The yellow flowers emerge in whorls along the sturdy stems and attract bees and buterflies throughout the summer until frost. Phlomis will take full sun to light shade and will tolerate poor soil, but require good drainage. Phlomis russeliana is a similar looking Jerusalem Sage that we also carry; it tends to spread by runners instead of staying in one clump and stays a bit shorter, but will stay within bounds. Both species remain attractive even after the blooms fade, their seedheads keeping an architectural sillouette throughout the colder months and providing seed for birds. They look great with ornamental grasses, Lavenders, Nepetas, Asters, Sages, Vitex, and other Meditteranean type plants. Just prune back the flower stems when you're done with them and that's about all you have to do to maintain them.