Friday, April 16, 2010

Blue Flowering Sage with Fiery Skipper Butterfly

This week I have photos of my sage herbs in flower. Not only does it taste great in my sauces and stews, it really looks beautiful in the garden. This Mediterranean native plant has been established for a few years and now lives on rainfall alone. It has tall spikes of blue flowers loved by bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Technically you should pick your herbs right before they flower, but I usually don’t. I just run out whenever I need a little sage and use it fresh.

This is a great herb to sneak into your garden beds just for the flower show in spring. Nobody will suspect you are mixing your 'food plants' with your flowers. Sage grows three to four feet tall so if you have bulbs dying back they make a great cover to hide that brown foliage too.

Not only am I lucky enough to have fresh sage, I was also lucky enough to catch a Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) on one of the flowers. These are tiny butterflies with large eyes. They are also known as Lawn Skippers because they feed on grasses, especially Bermuda grass. They are just over an inch long and have a range from California towards the Atlantic and down into Baja and northern Mexico. They are yellowish orange brown with black markings. There was also a bee in there but I'm saving my bee exploits for another post.

For southern Californians it looks like another great weekend to get out and plant some veggies or native plants in your garden. And if it really does rain next week your new transplants will thank you. Happy gardening!


Town Mouse said...

Happy gardening, Laura! I'm a little envious your garden is so far along, but then the sage smells great even before it flowers ;->

Hua said...

Hey Laura,

Those flowers look beautiful! Also, nice capture with the butterfly.

Tmoss said...

Laura, can you recommend a nursery fairly close to LA where I can pick up a good size Desert Willow? Thanks, tony

Landscapers Web Design said...

WAO Beautiful Blue flowers, Butterflies are very nice,


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