Perovskia atriplicifolia 'CrazyBlue'
Common Name: Russian sage
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Purple-violet
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Fragrant
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Clay Soil, Dry Soil, Air Pollution

Culture

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Sharp soil drainage is especially important. Avoid wet, poorly drained soils. Plants have good drought tolerance. Best flowering occurs in full sun locations. Stems are more likely to flop if plants are grown in part shade. Cut back plants almost to the ground in late winter to early spring as soon as new growth appears.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Perovskia atriplicifolia, commonly called Russian sage, is a woody-based perennial of the mint family which typically grows 2-4' (less frequently to 5') tall and features finely-dissected, aromatic (when crushed), gray-green leaves on stiff, upright, square stems and whorls of two-lipped, tubular, light blue flowers tiered in branched, terminal panicles (12-15" high). Long summer bloom period. Perennial Plant Association Plant of the Year (1995).

Genus name honors Russian general V. A. Perovski (1794 - c. 1857).

Specific epithet means with leaves resembling salt-bush.

‘CrazyBlue’ is a compact-mounded Russian sage cultivar that typically matures to only 14” tall on stiff, upright, silvery stems clad with aromatic (strong sage aroma) silvery gray-green leaves (to 3” long). Purple-violet to violet-blue flowers bloom in whorls from late spring to late summer. ‘CrazyBlue’ originated in a controlled breeding program which took place in Hem, The Netherlands in September of 2009. It was selected in August 2010 from an open pollination of Perovskia atriplicifolia plants. U.S. Plant Patent PP25,639 was issued on June 23, 2015.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Plants tend to sprawl or flop over as the summer progresses.

Garden Uses

Mass or specimen in borders. Provides long summer bloom for the perennial border. Contrasts well with both pink (e.g., phlox, mallow or roses) and yellow (e.g., rudbeckia) perennials.

Silver gray-green foliage and deep blue flowers of ‘CrazyBlue’ provide good texture, color and contrast to many other summer blooming plants.