Phlomis is a genus of flowering plants in family Lamiaceae, comprising 100 species of herbaceous plants, subshrubs and shrubs. It is native to Mediterranean region east across central Asia to China. it is commonly known as Jerusalem Sage and Lampwick Plant.
Phlomis can grow from 30 cm up to 2 m tall. The leaves are entire, opposite and each leaf pair at right angle to the next, rugose or reticulate veined. The flowers are arranged in whorls round the stems which are usually square in section with rounded corners, although tomentum on the stems can make them appear circular. The color of the flowers varies from yellow, pink, purple and white. The fruits are four three-sided, nutlets, and sometimes topped with hair, sometimes glabrous.
Phlomis fruticosa (Jerusalem Sage) is an evergreen shrub, native to Albania, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Turkey. It is popular in ornamental gardens for its foliage, scent, and flowers. It has slightly wrinkled, grey-green leaves with white undersides, and covered with fine hairs. In summer, yellow, tubular flowers grow in whorls of 20 in short spikes.
Phlomis italica, 60 cm high and across, is an evergreen shrubs. In midsummer, it produces lilac-pink flower in small whorls above the dull green leaves.
Phlomis russeliana, 90 x 75 cm, has strong, upright stems that are ringed with hooded, pale yellow flowers in late spring to early autumn. This is followed by attractive seedheads.
Phlomis grows well in hot sunny corners, and the hairy, grey-green leaves are designed to withstand drought and do well in gravel gardens. It needs fertile and well-drained soil and is likely to suffer in winter in heavy soil that becomes waterlogged. The shrubs do not need regular pruning, although straggly stems can be cut back in spring.
Propagation is by seed in spring; divide in spring; and softwood cuttings in summer. Phlomis is basically a trouble-free plant.