Thursday 29 November 2012

Plant ident 10/10/2012 - Salvias

Salvia confertiflora - red spikes of velvety flowers, grows better on older wood, so best to not cut back so much an established plant to maximise flowering potential for the following year. It's a tender perennial and needs to be stored in a warm greenhouse. It is one of the plants that Beth Chatto describes as paint the skies.

Salvia uliginosa - the flowers on this bog sage seems to grow even brighter on gloomy days.

Salvia leucantha aka mexican bush sage has velvety purple flowers. In California I saw it casually in grown in peoples front gardens like the British lavender, even my uncles who's not a big plants person has a bit tatty bush of it full of flowers and attracts hummingbirds. But in Britain it is a bit pitiful, as it's usually not hot enough for them. At Dixter only now are they starting to show small spikes of flowers. It has green narrow lance shaped leaves and is the closest to the common sage that I have seen. It can grow up to 1.5 metres high and 1 metre wide. It is a herbaceous perennial and is not frost hardy. Can be propagated by semi hardwood cuttings.

S. 'Indigo Spires'
Grows from the base and is better when it has new growth opposite to confertiflora, as it can get woody at the base and not produce such good plants.

S. 'Cerro Potosi'

S. 'Forest Fire'

S. microphylla 'Hot Lips'

S. guarantica 'Blue Enigma' 

S. involucrata 'Bethellii'

S. nemerosa 'Caradonna'- small bright flowered indigo can be found in the Long Border.

S. mexicana var. minor the photo below doesn't give it justice but it has great grey blue green foliage and hardly needs supporting. Although it is only starting to flower now, it is hopeful. It has lime green bracts that offsets bright dark blue flowers. It is lost here, but in the right setting maybe the Exotic Garden it may really come into its own.

S. 'Mulberry Jam'

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