Phlomis russeliana

sticky Jerusalem sage

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Outstanding Qualities

Phlomis russeliana is an easy-to-grow perennial with an attractive combination of bold, rough-textured, grey-green leaves and soft yellow flowers. The flowers, which appear in early summer, are hooded and borne in tiers on tall, slender stems. Bees and butterflies are attracted to their sweet nectar. The flowers develop into ornamental seed heads that persist into winter and provide food for the birds. This versatile plant can be used in the dry sunny border or as an informal groundcover. Phlomis russeliana combines well with ornamental grasses, lavenders, blue-flowered hardy geraniums, and other drought-tolerant perennials. The leaves are evergreen and the stout flower stems persist into winter, adding interest to the dormant garden.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: perennial

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 9

Flower Color: yellow

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun or light to open shade

Water Requirements: drought tolerant when established

Resistant to: deer

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: blue, variegated, bronze

Great Color Partners: dark green, silver, yellow

Culture Notes
This robust perennial will grow well in full sun to light or open shade. It prefers well-drained or sandy soil and will tolerate hot locations. Slugs and cutworms are sometimes attracted to the evergreen basal leaves, but the plant quickly outgrows these pests. At the end of the season, leave the seed heads until they are no longer attractive and then cut the entire plant to the ground. Fresh new leaves will soon regrow and last through the winter. Once established, phlomis is drought tolerant.