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Desert Indigo is great for a butterfly garden.
Indigofera gerardiana has panicles of purple-pink flowers and delicate grayish-green foliage. Good for summer flowering as it blooms for several weeks in summer and continues into the fall.
A short-lived herbaceous plant with creeping or scrambling stems. Its alternately arranged leaves are once-compound with 5-11 leaflets these oblong leaflets have hairless or sparsely hairy upper surfaces and densely hairy undersides. Its small pink or pinkish-orange pea-shaped flowers are arranged in elongated clusters.
I. spicata is native to Africa, Madagascar and throughout South and Southeast Asia, and was introduced to the Americas in tropical areas. It effectively controls soil erosion, even under heavy rainfall on slopes, hills and undulating land.
This plant contains indospicine and is notably toxic to many grazing animals.
Dense, suckering shrub, pea-like flowers which bloom heavily in June and July and sometimes continue intermittently to September. Needs long growing season. Blooms on new growth. Used for many years to produce indigo dyes. Ancient dyeplant known for the clarity and fastness of the blue produced. Leaves contain indican which must be oxidized by fermentation to produce the dye. Fresh herbage (strongest when in flower) is steeped in water for 12-48 hours with frequent stirring. A blue sediment will form which is the dye.
Long spikes of deep indigo blue, tubular flowers are borne continuously from spring to frost on this vigorous perennial Salvia.
Randia aculeata is six to 10 feet tall, evergreen, with spiny, leathery leaves that cluster near the tips of the branches. They are simple, two-inch leaves, no teeth, circular, veins are pinnate, read spreading out from a central vein. The leaves and stiff horizontal branching habit give the shrub a kind of geometric look. Small white tubular flowers are produced axillarily, that is where the leaf or branch stems meet the main stem. They are fragrant and occur all year. Spread by birds, the seeds of Randia aculeata sprout throughout its range of South Florida, and much of Tropical America. They ripen from green to white and are filled with a blue pulp.
Pleasantly fragrant, six inch white flowers flushed purple or indigo in the throat.
Salvias have been growing rapidly in popularity in recent years. Salvias (also known as sages) have gained their new fame because they flower for a long period; do well in hot, dry conditions; and they provide an incredible variety of fragrance, bloom habit and color. Salvias include some of our best summer-blooming annuals and perennials.
Most salvias grow fairly rapidly. The less hardy types that are usually grown as annuals may reach 5-6 ft by the end of the season. There are also many salvias that will stay low enough to be used at the front edge of your flowerbeds.
Salvias have brilliantly colored flowers and attractive, often scented foliage. They can be used for massing, borders, containers, accents and cut flowers. In addition to the colorful flowers and interesting foliage of salvias, one of the main benefits of growing sages are the hummingbirds and butterflies they attract.
Most salvias prefer full sun and well-drained soils, but there are also many that will bloom well in part shade. Most are quite drought-tolerant and require little care once established. Wait to plant annual and semi-hardy salvias until after all danger of frost is past. Remove the bloom spikes of salvias after blooms have faded to encourage continuous bloom. Wait until new growth begins to emerge in early spring to do your winter cleanup of old stems to avoid freeze damage to the less hardy types.
The best time to divide perennial salvias is in early spring, before new growth begins.
Species and varieties:
Salvia Indigo Spires
Salvia x 'Christine Yeo'
Salvia x 'Wendy's Wish'