South African

South African Salvias

Salvias from South Africa

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Sth African Salvias are our toughest, hardiest group of Salvias, ranging from tall shrubs of 2mH e.g. S. aurea to quite a few mid sized plants such as S. lanceolata, S.africana, ‘Finngrove’, to a number of shrubby low shrubs such as S. murii and S. scabra, down to ground covers such as S.repens, S. aurita var aurita and aurita var galpinnii.

All thrive in full sun ( except S. aurita var galpinnii which needs protection form hot dry wind and frost. Although it will grow in a sunny  position when established.) These plants need a good sunny position to  remain compact.

They grow well in most positions: in coastal sands, clay, shale etc… For all those hard to plant areas in the garden that is hot and dry, then these are the plants to plant.

Their leaves are a mix of wonderful textures, smells, large and small lobed shapes  which makes them ideal  to clip into  hedges, balls or boxes, this they do extremely well, providing protection to other less hardy plants in the garden. Experiment with tall or low hedges, in front of other taller shrubs or behind groundcovers.

While most of the flowers are pale blue or mauve and small, the S. aurea’s have large unusual flowers of a terracotta colour. These also vary slightly with the different varieties. S. lanceolata is the odd plant out having a mushroom pink colour. All have beautiful buds and coloured calyces, which add to the dimensions of the colour  range of these beautiful large flowers.

Salvia lanceolata
Salvia lanceolata