Phlomis tuberosa stems and leaves

Phlomis tuberosa Family: Lamiaceae
(FLOW-mis tew-ber-OH-suh)

Common name: tuberous Jerusalem sage

Zone: 3 – 8
Height: 3-4 ft (90-120cm) Spread: 2-3 ft (60-90cm)
Aspect: full sun; partial shade
Soil: average; well-draining
Water: minimal

Description: An herbaceous perennial with an upright, bushy habit. Large, toothed, green leaves are in pairs up strong, semi-woody, ruby-red stems. Whorls of distinctly hooded, pink flowers appear up the stems in summer through autumn.


Special Notes: Native to Turkey and Syria. Not as fussy about perfect drainage as other phlomis species. Few pests or diseases, although slugs and snails may be a problem. Drought tolerant. Deer and rabbit resistant. Propagate by seed; division in spring or autumn.

Great Plant Pick 2011


Phlomis tuberosa flower budsIn our Zone 7a garden: Phlomis tuberosa has performed quite well. However, it has never developed into as robust a plant as Phlomis russeliana nor does it put on as showy a floral display. But it will grow in tough soil under two mature trees where there is always a fight for water. It will just not reach its full potential in such a spot. I know this plant species was awarded Great Plant Pick status for the Pacific Northwest in 2011 but if you can only fit one phlomis into your landscape design, I would highly recommend Phlomis russeliana.



Posted on February 1, 2013