LAMPWICK PLANT, JERUSALEM SAGE Phlomis russeliana
A very hardy and easy-to-grow perennial with pretty tiered whorls of hooded yellow flowers.
These plants are tolerant of poor soils, and will gently spread to form impressive large clumps. After flowering, the plant continues to be attractive, as the dried flowers and seed pods are almost as attractive as the flowers, and persist into winter (see all images).
Phlomis is native from the Mediterranean region east across central Asia to China. Common names include Jerusalem sage, Turkish Sage and lampwick plant.
The name Phlomis derives from a Greek word for "flame", and may refer to the leaves' use in ancient times as lamp wicks.
Location: Sun or part sun
Hardiness zones: 4-9
Seeds per pack: 5
Germination: As with many perennial seeds, these seeds benefit from a period of moist cold to help them begin to grow. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:
Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 4-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period. We have grown these seeds ourselves using this refrigeration method, with high germination results.
Another option if you are planting your seeds in late winter or spring, these seeds can be planted outdoors while it is still cool out (once the ground is workable and unfrozen), to receive the cold period naturally in the garden.