It's a bee magnet. This hungry bee was visiting very early this morning!
S azurea, Azure Sage or Pitcher Sage is a native of Tennessee. Although, I have been confused by references to a Salvia azurea var azurea. Salvia azurea var azurea is said to be a Southeastern native and S grandiflora is found west of the Mississippi! It is impossible to find azurea var azurea in the trade! Local growers are selling azurea grandiflora as a Tennessee native and experts in the field say the same thing! I love it when the experts aren't sure.
This is not my favorite photo, but I wanted you to see how floriferous this salvia can be. Azurea began blooming several weeks ago and will bloom until a heavy frost puts a stop to it! If you add him to your garden, be sure and give him lean, well drained soil and plant him toward the back of the border.
This is a tall salvia, over six feet tall when forced to stand up! Right now he is a sprawling giant of a plant with stems covered in flowers. Azurea also tolerates heat, humidity and drought; which is the the best news for survival here! I wish I had cut the plants back by 1/2 in late spring to keep it shorter and bushier. Next year.
Don't you think Azurea would look stunning planted with a low growing goldenrods, a blue-green grass like Little Blue Stem v 'The Blues' (photo of The Blues with The Susans) or even asters? He is planted near the Gray Owl Juniperus virginiana and the colors look spectacular together. The key is to remember that for most of the season he is flowerless, although not unattractive. The squared mint stems have a delightful blue cast to them earlier in the season.
I can't say enough about what this plant brings to the garden... beauty and the bees. Bumble bees are the most frequent visitors. Occasionally a skipper might visit, but no other pollinators are as attracted to this flower as long tongued Bumble Bees!
He will grow just about every where....Western Prairies and plains from Nebraska to Missouri south to Texas and eastward. Please try him, I don't think a color like this could ever disappoint!
And, because I promised Kathleen (Kasey's Corner) to post a photo of the the Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) acorns this week. Aren't they something else!
Bur Oak is in the White Oak family and is very drought tolerant! Yippee! Bur oak often dominates sites with thin soils or heavy claypan soils. Another yippee! It is a magnificent tree with highly ridged bark. If you want to know more about Bur Oak you can check out this post.
I wish you all a weekend of rain or sunshine, which ever you need!