Published in San Jose Mercury News
on Aug. 10, 2005

Louis "Louie" Eugene Saso Passed away peacefully on Sunday, August 7th, 2005 at his home in Santa Cruz. Born Feb. 16, 1916 in Portland, OR, Louie moved to San Jose when he was 12. In the 1940's Louie started Hayward Produce, delivering fruits and vegetables to neighborhood grocery stores. Louie and the family relocated to Saratoga in 1962. In 1974 Louie and his wife Virginia opened Saso Herb Gardens, a world-renowned garden featured in numerous books, newspapers and magazines. "Papa Louie" had a large and loving family including his loving wife of 63 years, Virginia, 8 children, 17 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.

P6154552LouieIn celebration of Louie's life, services will be held Friday August 12th at 7:30 p.m. at Pacific Gardens Chapel, 1050 Cayuga St., Santa Cruz. A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday August 20th at 12 noon at Holy Cross Church, 126 High St., Santa Cruz. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Louie's name to the Cabrillo Stroke Center, 501 Upper Park Rd., Santa Cruz, CA 95065.

PDF files of newspaper clippings of various Obituaries, etc. written for Louie when he passed August 7, 2005.

large_louis_sasoLouie even has a salvia named after him: Salvia iodantha "Louis Saso."

(Big Leaf Scandent Mexican Sage) Bigger leaves, larger, looser flowers and pink petioles -- the tiny stemlets connecting leaves to stems -- differentiate this clone, which may possibly be a hybrid, from the species Salvia iodantha. Also a winter-blooming perennial, it's covered with velvety, 8-inch-long, magenta blossoms from fall into winter.

The peak bloom period for Louis Saso is during mild, sunny weather in either December or January. Although it can survive a temperature of 20 degrees F, blooming is inhibited when temperatures fall below 25 degrees F for days at a time. At our coastal, Northern California farm, it blooms through the worst winter storms.

Give it at least 6 hours of sun daily, deep watering weekly, shelter from strong winds and well-drained, loamy soil. Growing up to 6 feet tall and wide, Louis Saso is a good screen or back of border plant. However, it needs support or pruning in late summer to keep it tidy.

Whirring Wings Warning: Similar to Salvia iodantha, this is a hummingbird magnet!

(see the page here)


And Louie wasn't the only one to have a plant named after him:

Origanum-Santa-Cruz"O. rotundifolium: One of the varieties with stunning green bracts, this plant has flower stems that grow to about a foot and look lovely spilling over a container on the patio. Bracts tend to remain showy from early summer to fall. O. rotundifolium 'Virginia Saso': Discovered by Virginia Saso when she planted a 'Kent Beauty' seed, this has a smaller bract head than its parent. It is more prolific and lasts longer, with pink bracts that dry to a deep rose color. Looks good in a hanging basket. O. 'Santa Cruz': First discovered as a seedling in the Arboretum of the University of California, Santa Cruz, hence its name."