Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Phlomis Russeliana

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Position: Flourishes in full sun to partial shade.

Soil: Moist but well drained.

Flowering period: Late spring to early summer.

Eventual Height: 90cm

Eventual Spread: 75cm

Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a-9b

Family: Lamiaceae

Phlomis russeliana is a herbaceous perennial with an upright habit. It has fleshy mid green leaves which have different shapes depending on their placement; the basal leaves are ovate and heart shaped at the base, however the stem leaves are scalloped and smaller.

Native to native to Turkey and Syria, it is commonly known as Turkish sage and Jerusalem Sage.

The name Phlomis is from the Greek word for mullein (Verbascum), due to the similarity of the leaves. We are unclear as to the root of russelinia and would welcome reader feedback on this issue

Phlomis russeliana (14/05/2011, Paris)

Phlomis russeliana (14/05/2011, Paris)

This plant is usefull to the Landscape architect as an effective low maintenance medium height ground cover. It drought tolerant and Deers tend not to eat this plant.

This plant is happy at most pH levels and the soil may be chalk, loam or sand. It may be placed in a sheltered or exposed location but will not thrive in a north facing position.

Ecologically it is valuable as it attracts bees and other nectar loving insects during it flowering period. The larvae of some Lepidoptera also fine its foliage appealing.

The Royal Horticultural Society have given it their prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

Maintenance: Once the foliage becomes untidy, from late summer onwards, it may be cut back to encourage new growth. If left alone some people enjoy the form of this plant, especially during the snow when it appears as pom-pom balls raised on their stalks.


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