Little Spire

Russian Sage

Denomination: 'Little Spire'
Botanical Name: Perovskia
Applicant/Holder: Future Plants Licentie B.V.
Turfspoor 53A
2165 AW
Breeder: Hubertus Gerardus Oudshoorn, Rijpwetering, Netherlands
Agent in Canada: Variety Rights Management
475 County Road 18
R.R. #2
Oxford Station, Ontario
K0G 1T0
Tel: 613-258-9015
Application Date: 1999-08-06
Application Number: 99-1748
Grant of Rights Date: 2003-03-04
Certificate Number: 1437
Grant of Rights Termination Date: 2021-03-04

Variety Description

Variety used for comparison: Perovskia atriplicifolia

Summary: 'Little Spire' has a shorter, narrower plant than the reference variety. The leaves of 'Little Spire' are smaller with shorter petioles than the leaves of Perovskia atriplicifolia. 'Little Spire' has serrate leaf margins while Perovskia atriplicifolia has deeply incised margins. 'Little Spire' has shorter inflorescence length than the reference variety. 'Little Spire' has a slightly lighter bluish-violet flower colour than the reference variety.


'Little Spire' is a vegetatively propagated, perennial Russian sage variety. The growth habit is upright bushy and there is sparse to medium branching. The stem is greyish green in colour with no anthocyanin colouration. The stem has very sparse pubescence and is medium in thickness. The stems are square in shape.

The leaves of 'Little Spire' are opposite in arrangement and simple. The leaf blade is elliptic in shape with an acute shaped apex, attenuate base and serrate margin. The upper and lower side of the leaf blade has sparse pubescence. The main colour of the upper side of the leaf blade is greyish green in colour and there is no variegation. The leaf petiole has no anthocyanin colouration.

'Little Spire' flowers almost continuously and begins flowering mid to late season. The inflorescence is a raceme and is both terminal and axillary in position. The inflorescence is erect in attitude. The corolla is bilabiate in shape and dark bluish-violet (RHS 95C) in colour when the flower is fully opened.

Origin & Breeding History: 'Little Spire' was selected from a seed bed of hybrid Perovskia seedlings that were produced from various crosses of unidentified seedling selections. The selection was made in Rijpwetering, The Netherlands in 1995. 'Little Spire' was selected on the basis of its darker purple blue flower colour and smaller, more compact growth habit.

Tests & Trials: Tests and trials for 'Little Spire' were conducted in the summer of 2001 at Oxford Station, Ontario. The trials consisted of 10 plants of each variety, field planted in rows that were 1 metre apart with plants 0.40 metres apart within the row. Measured characteristics were based on ten measurements.

Comparison tables for 'Little Spire' with reference variety Perovskia atriplicifolia

Plant height (cm)

  'Little Spire' Perovskia atriplicifolia
mean 57.86 64.83
std. deviation 3.53 4.62

Plant width (cm)

  'Little Spire' Perovskia atriplicifolia
mean 53.17 62.14
std. deviation 3.19 5.08

Leaf blade length (cm)

  'Little Spire' Perovskia atriplicifolia
mean 3.51 5.88
std. deviation 0.29 0.40

Leaf blade width (cm)

  'Little Spire' Perovskia atriplicifolia
mean 1.03 2.34
std. deviation 0.23 0.32

Petiole length (mm)

  'Little Spire' Perovskia atriplicifolia
mean 1.63 4.25
std. deviation 0.74 0.71

Length of inflorescence (cm)

  'Little Spire' Perovskia atriplicifolia
mean 34.71 38.63
std. deviation 3.64 2.45

Colour of flower bud (RHS)

  'Little Spire' Perovskia atriplicifolia
unopened 88D/94C 93D/94C
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