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'Lollie Jackson' Sage

I was introduced to this plant at The Greenery in Waxahachie, TX. My friend Mary Nell Jackson and I were browsing for something new and exciting to add to our gardens. Of course, when we saw a plant labeled ‘Lollie Jackson’ Salvia we had to have it. This plant has graced my garden for several years now.

It’s a stately herbaceous perennial that grows 4-6’ tall (5’ in my garden) and almost as wide. The blooms are a vivid blue set off with lime green calyxes and cover the plant from fall to frost. The butterflies and hummingbirds flock to it.

Some sources claim that this salvia is sterile and doesn’t set seed; others indicate that is produces seed, but they don’t always come true. I’ve been searching for seed on my plant all season and haven’t found any. Thankfully, this salvia is easily propagated by stem cuttings in spring or fall. Plants can also be divided in spring as new growth emerges.

When researching this plant I discovered that it was named for an amazing woman Laura “Lollie” Reed Dyke Jackson (1936-2015). She was born in Austin, but spent most of her life in Houston. After transforming her personal yard into a “wonder of plants native to both Texas and Mexico” she started her own landscaping company, International Wildlife and Wildflower Corporation of America, Inc. Working with her friend and mentor Will Fleming (yes that Will Fleming) they created gardens that were alternatives to what she referred to as “green deserts”. She wanted to “follow spring around the world”, so all her gardens were designed to have something blooming at all times of the year.

Lollie Jackson was a plant collector and landscape innovator, and her passion was salvias. While on a plant hunt in Mexico, she found a salvia that had not yet been discovered. It was named for her: Salvia Mexicana ‘Lollie Jackson’. ‘Lollie Jackson’ is the result of cross pollination between ‘Limelight’ and ‘Lolly’ salvia.

Plants weren’t her only interest. She published a book Master of Knives with the artwork of Lucas Johnson and poetry of C.W. Truesdale.

Lollie Jackson died on January 19, 2015.

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