Plant family: Lamiaceae - Mint
Plant type: Shrub
Plant origin: N/A, California
Clay, Sandy Loam, Adaptable
Attracts Wildlife, Edible , Exceptional Fragrance, Important to Native People, Tolerant of Clay Soil
As its name implies this shrubby perennial has an outstanding and unique fragrance. Together with its velvety gray green foliage, large tubular purple flowers, and suitability for a refreshing iced tea, this plant satisfies all the senses! It is commonly called Fragrant Pitcher Sage, however it is in the mint familiy (Lamiaceae) not in the sage family. This shrub is quite rare in nature and even more rare in the nursery trade! It is generally found in the Southern California mountains often on north facing slopes nestled among other chaparral plants where it enjoys a little moisture and some shade. Its beautiful light purple to lavender flowers appear in the spring and the fall and attract large pollinators such as bumble bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. This is best planted in coastal areas in sun or light shade, inland plant against a north facing wall where it can enjoy morning sun and afternoon shade, or in bright shade. Lepechinia fragrans needs moderate water and does best with monthly water in the summer to avoid summer dormancy. This plant is tolerant of many soils including clay. It is best to tip prune the fresh shoots often to maintain a bushy form. It is a fast grower!
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