‘Heavenly Cloud’ Texas Sage Blooms for Weeks in Parched Soil

Fine Gardening – Issue 217
drought-tolerant shrub
Photo: courtesy of Mountain States Wholesale Nursery

As climate change becomes more evident, many gardeners are looking for easy-care, drought-tolerant plants to add to their beds and borders. You may hear “sage” and think of the vast array of perennials or annuals that fall into the genus Salvia, but chances are you might be unaware of this shrubby plant that is so useful in a parched landscape. Texas sage, which falls under the genus Leucophyllum, is native to the Southwest. This group of plants loves a dry sunny climate but can also thrive in cultivated gardens throughout the United States.

‘Heavenly Cloud’ is a gorgeous hybrid cross between L. laevigatum and L. frutescens ‘Green Cloud’. The result is a plant with a beautiful, sage-green leaf that releases a pungent fragrance when something is brushed against it. This hybrid cross also has increased zonal hardiness over either parent, which extends its range and allows gardeners in cooler climes to grow it. In addition, ‘Heavenly Cloud’ is extremely drought tolerant, a great bonus for areas of the country where consistent rainfall can be unpredictable.

It’s the showy purple flowers that cover this shrub from summer into fall, however, that make people sit up and take notice. The blooms are loved by pollinators. Mostly evergreen, this Texas sage may drop its leaves in colder weather but always pushes out new foliage in spring. Growing fairly quickly, ‘Heavenly Cloud’ is lovely as a focal point specimen, as a background plant, or as a windbreak or natural hedge. Giving it full sun and fast-draining soil will help it reach its full size in short order and give your garden a glorious cloud of color. Prune it gently by hand, only to shape, to keep the flowers coming for weeks and weeks.

‘Heavenly Cloud’ Texas sage

Heavenly Cloud Texas sage illustrated mature height and width

Leucophyllum ‘Heavenly Cloud’

Zones: 7b–10

Conditions: Full sun; dry, lean soil

Native range: Southwestern United States

Susan Calhoun is the owner and principal designer of Plantswoman Design in Bainbridge, Washington. She is also a regional reporter for the Pacific Northwest.

Illustrations: Elara Tanguy


View Comments


Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest