Phlomis Species, Jerusalem Sage

Phlomis fruticosa

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phlomis (FLOW-miss) (Info)
Species: fruticosa (froo-tih-KOH-suh) (Info)
Synonym:Phlomis angustifolia
Synonym:Phlomis latifolia
Synonym:Phlomis portae



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:



4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From softwood cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Laceys Spring, Alabama

Sitka, Alaska

Chandler, Arizona

Claypool, Arizona

Mesa, Arizona

Amesti, California

Clayton, California

Concow, California

Corralitos, California

Elkhorn, California

Fairfield, California

Interlaken, California

Los Angeles, California

NORTH FORK, California

Oroville, California

Pajaro, California

Quartz Hill, California

Redding, California

Redondo Beach, California

Roseville, California

San Anselmo, California

San Diego, California

San Leandro, California

Santa Clarita, California

Thermalito, California

Ventura, California

Visalia, California

Vista, California(9 reports)

Watsonville, California

Longmont, Colorado

Louisville, Colorado

Atlanta, Georgia

Waukegan, Illinois

Silver Spring, Maryland

Chilmark, Massachusetts

Clinton, Mississippi

Ithaca, New York

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Columbus, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Portland, Oregon

Sherwood, Oregon

Landenberg, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Abilene, Texas

Austin, Texas(3 reports)

Blanket, Texas

Bulverde, Texas

Conroe, Texas

Desoto, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas(2 reports)

Grand Prairie, Texas

Hallettsville, Texas

Jacksonville, Texas

Kerrville, Texas

La Coste, Texas

Liberty Hill, Texas

Lockhart, Texas

Magnolia, Texas

Rockwall, Texas

Round Rock, Texas

San Antonio, Texas(3 reports)

Temple, Texas

Cascade-Fairwood, Washington

Concrete, Washington

Fircrest, Washington

Freeland, Washington

Kalama, Washington

La Conner, Washington

Lake Stevens, Washington

Renton, Washington

Tacoma, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 18, 2016, NeedaGarden from Landenberg, PA wrote:

This very interesting plant was well established when we bought our house 10 years ago. My only concern with it is this: It is so full that the leaves underneath quickly rot and become moldy. They are visible if you look for a moment, and I always fear that is unhealthy for the rest of the plant. (?) I have tried to thin it out (rather barbarically, I admit, by just yanking out sections), but that hasn't really helped.

Can anyone advise the best way to thin it and minimize or eliminate the rot and mold? Thanks!

P.S. We live in extreme SE PA, Zone 6b/7a. This plant is against the SE side of the house, so part sun/shade.


On Jul 2, 2015, SweetIrony from Round Rock, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I'm planning on planting Jerusalem Sage (Phlomis fruticosa) in my yard, so I can't review it... yet. What I would like to know is if this plant is edible. I know it is not a true sage, but rather a borage (I think). So, I think it SHOULD be edible, but would love if someone can confirm for me.


On Apr 21, 2014, bobbieberecz from Concrete, WA wrote:

I have enjoyed this plant for decades. First in clay soil, full sun in temperate Seattle, WA. Then in sandy soil in Seattle and finally out in the hot and freezing foothills of NW Washington. The soil here in the foothills is a silty loam that dries out quickly without mulch. I do a nuritious mulch every year and am faithful about watering. I also have had this plant in almost full but fairly bright shade and it blooms minamally but has wonderful healthy fresh wooly foliage. It has grown wide and robust in half day of sun (with summer temps in the high nineties for 2 or 3 weeks each summer and sometimes topping one hundred) and dappled shade in the morning. It never reaches over 3 1/2 feet but does spread at least 3 feet wide. Whether visitors are admiring the foliage or the uniqu... read more


On May 22, 2012, woodylover from Provincetown, MA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Great plant for sun and well drained soils. It grew well in Ithaca, NY where I first tried it, and grows well here in Chilmark, MA on the island of Martha's Vineyard. I grow a number of other phlomis species now - P. russelliana, P. tuberosa, P. cashmeriana, and now trying P. samia. GREAT plants, and the deer and rabbits don't seem to like them either.


On Jun 13, 2011, leesdachshunds from Redding, CA wrote:

I planted a 1 gallon container about 6 years ago and each year mine gets bigger and has more blooms. We've had a wet Spring here this year and it reached 5 feet easy and was covered with blossoms. It even looks good in the winter as the plant ages it seems to aquire more character each season.


On Jun 1, 2011, sterhill from Atlanta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Atlanta - I find this does not like really FULL sun, at least not here in Atlanta. It needs some shade. I moved mine around, even had to dig up up a couple of times and now it gets filtered shade and good morning sun. It is a really nifty plant and grows well from cuttings. Wooly leaves or no, it likes a good drink. BTW: the leaves are bigger in the shade and smaller and narrower in more sun.


On Feb 14, 2011, Pistil from Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I first tried this plant in a very sandy place by the Lake, that never got very warm in the summer- it languished. I dug it up and gave it to my sister who lives in the foothills, zone 7. It hardly grew, stayed quite stunted. I took it back when I moved to a warmer spot on the hillside. Soil is clayey, but terraced. The Phlomis LOVES this spot- blooms for months, leaves are very nice. Only gets about 3 feet tall maximum.


On Jun 26, 2008, vickietx from Abilene, TX wrote:

I have been trying to figure out what this plant was since I moved into this house almost 2 yrs ago. I had thought about trashing it,but decided against it. The flowers are really neat looking, different. :-)
Glad I finally found it. :-)


On Apr 22, 2007, mrs_colla from Marin, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

My neighbour has this plant, and it survived all the frost this winter and is already blooming ( April).
When I asked her what it was she said Lionstail (Leonotis menthifolia). I should have known better than to believe her without checking it first, she is not a gardener. I ordered the leonotis, only to find out it is similar in flower and appearance, but the leaves aren't wolly!
Deeply saddened, my quest for the plant I wanted went on, and now I have found it!


On Mar 25, 2006, Tanya3 from Visalia, CA (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is a wonderful bedding plant that tolerates our very hot summers here in the central valley of CA. We got two of these last spring, and they were beautiful all summer. They are already getting some blooms, and it's only March. Also, I noticed a few hummers on them last year!


On Apr 21, 2005, maggiemoo from Conroe, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I first saw this plant in the gardens at our local Extension office last year, in late winter. I loved the mound of soft, slightly fuzzy, grey-green leaves (I even like thier shape). I planted one in my own garden that Spring, and it has done well. I have to admit, when I started noticing them in bloom in public flowerbeds, I actually didn't care for the flowers at all. In fact, I cut my plant back to try to prevent it from flowering, and have been rewarded with additional mounds of those wonderful leaves. After reading Bah's take on the the look of the flowers, I'm beginning to appreciate them, and will not fight the flowering any more.


On Apr 15, 2005, Happenstance from Northern California, CA wrote:

A consistant performer in the garden, flowers last a long time, great gray foliage all year long.


On Mar 13, 2004, BAH from Hyampom, CA wrote:

I found this plant to add an interesting aspect to the common varieties of garden plants. The flowers remind me of Dr. Suess trees.