Plant of the Month

Plant of the Month

What’s new or a lesser known Salvia

S. rubescens subsp dolichotrix

rubescens subsp dolichotrix

S. rubescens subsp dolichotrix’

This  is a relatively new Salvia to reach Australia, but has adapted very well to our cool winter climate.
S. rubescens subsp dolichotrix is a tall winter flowering Salvia, growing to approx 2-3mH, growing into a bushy open shrub with large  broad cordate shape leaves.

Being from Sth America, it loves the shade  and moisture during the warmer dryer months. As it comes from cool rainforest areas, it begins flowering in our winter months – all to do with the hours and amount of sunlight it receives.

Flowers are a beautiful vermilion red with that lower lobe spreading out below the hood. The calyx and flowering stem are almost black with a green underside, giving it an almost mottled look. So many flowers in whorls around the stem, give it an almost spidery look.
Starting off small, the flowering stem can reach 15cm long – beautiful.
The little Eastern Spinebill loves flitting into these flowers. Definately one for the birds.

Because of those lovely large leaves, of course it will be frost tender.
Plant this S. rubescens subsp dolichotrix in a semi shaded sheltered position, in amongst  lots of shrubs and trees. Mulch well and if it does get frosted, then leaves those affected stems until after the frost ( they help to protect young shoots ) new shoots should appear at the base.

 

Plant of the Month over the past few Years

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(Branch of the Herb Society of Victoria Inc.)