Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Phlomis fruticosa

Common Name
Jerusalem Sage
CA Native
Plant Type
4' x 3'
Flower Color
Bloom Time
  • Fall
  • Spring
  • Spring through Fall
Silver Gray-Green Fuzzy Leaves
Deer Resistant
Rarely Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Bees
  • Hummingbirds
Growth Rate
Adverse Growth Factors
Special Features
  • Low Maintenance
  • Showy Flowers
Water Use
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Low
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
  • Full Sun
Soil Type
Not Particular
Good Drainage
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

Phlomis is a compact, shrubby perennial in the Mint family that originated in the Mediterranean. Its essential oils have antibacterial and antifungal properties. In Marin, this plant is evergreen and can start to bloom in April and then blooms periodically through late summer.  It is a consistant performer and is drought tolerant when established. Even when not in bloom the velvety gray-green leaves make it a very attractive addition to a water-wise garden. It can be used in the back of a perennial border, in containers or on hillsides for erosion control.

Plant in well-drained soil in a hot sunny spot. Plants should be pruned back hard in early spring. If the soil is too rich or the conditions too shady the plant will get leggy and flop over.

Great for attracting bees and butterflies. Leave seed heads on for bird food in the winter.

No serious pests or diseases. Leafhoppers will sometimes feed on the leaves of the Phlomis.

Master Gardener Comments

Phlomis is one of the toughest plants in my drought tolerant garden area. The flowers last a long time and the fuzzy foliage is attractive all year long. The flowers remind me of a Dr. Suess tree.


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