Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
There are both hardy and tender species that make good companion plants for cacti and succulents. These include Jerusalem sage and others.
Also called dwarf fan palm and European fan-palm, this can range from three to seven feet or so in height. Under good conditions it can reach 20 feet. This is only hardy to zone nine or so.
As the name indicates, the segments of the leaves are arranged in the shape of a fan. The foliage can be three feet wide. It has an erect coarse
appearance. This is often cultivated along the Gulf Coast. In colder climates, it is grown as a container plant and taken indoors for the winter months. This species tolerates sandy and rocky soils. It can be grown from seed.
The various Jerusalem sages and the other species of the phlomis are native mostly to the Mediterranean and Asia. These have woolly, hairy foliage. Some are quite shrubby, while others are perennials. Their hairy foliage enables them to withstand dry conditions. These are members of the mint family. They have typical, mint-like spikes of blooms.
Jerusalem sage is the best known of the group, and is three feet tall. A stately plant, it has yellow blooms that open during the summer. Other species can range from 1˝ to 4 feet in height. Hardiness can vary slightly. While some are suited to zone four, others are more tender and winter hardy to zone seven or so. These plants are adapted to rocky soils. They’re very suitable for rock gardens.
This is a member of the palm family. Native to the Southeast, this evergreen shrub is hardy to zone eight. It is tolerant of salt spray and sandy soils. Though it will withstand dry conditions, the growth will be more lush and vigorous if it receives some moisture during prolonged drought. The foliage looks like that of the fan palms. The plants are over 4˝ feet in height. There is a slightly more hardy relative called the dwarf palmetto, which is hardy to zone seven.