(syn: Salvia pitcheri) Salvia azurea ssp. pitcheri is a tough garden-worthy US native with upright stems clothed with linear grey-green foliage. From July through September, the stems are topped with lovely, pure blue flowers. Salvia azurea is at home in dreadfully hot, dry sites as well as nestled in the midst of the perennial border. Salvia 'Nekan' (Nebraska-Kansas) is a seed strain named for a selected population found north of Lincoln, Nebraska. For us, this has proven to be a great improvement on the species with its more sturdy upright constitution and larger flowers. As the late Nebraskan nurseryman, Harlan Hamernik said, "If it'll grow in Nebraska, it'll grow anywhere."