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Salvia africana ( africana caerulea)

Salvia africana (africana caerulea): is a small Sth African shrub, growing to approx 1m x 1m. This is tough and hardy for hot summers.

Flowers: are pale blue with a hint of mauve. The flower having  a falcate shape with an extended bottom lip with a large white beeline and other markings. This lures bees and other insects onto the flower These markings act as  a landing strip. The bud  and calyx are usually hairy which adds to it’s charm when emerging. The calyx is green but often colours as it matures. Flowering begins from spring through to autumn.
Leaves: are small,  leathery with pointed apex and grey. In the juvenile stages, they can be lobed and slightly undulating, but this soon disappears as the plant matures. New shoots can appear at the base  allowing the shrub to become very bushy. These leaves are showing those juvenile shapes of being lobed and undulating, but still bright green.
S. africana has small leaves, so it clips very well in to small hedges, balls or even squares. As a hedge they are often used  to protect other smaller plants and groundcovers planted in the foreground.
If not growing this Salvia as a hedge, then grow in the front of the bed behind groundcovers; or in the middle as part of a grouping of shrubs or behind smaller perennials.

This species and most of the other Sth African Salvias are tough and  hardy for those hot, dry summer months as well as winter and frost hardy. Although this Salvia has beautiful blue flowered , it still needs full sun and good drainage to grow well. It is a plant for hot spots or positions where nothing else will grow.  As it is easy to grow, it is often used in these difficult positions.

When pruning , either clip as a hedge  or cut down to a good new shoot whilst cleaning out the shrub of dead and twiggy stems. Propagation is by tip cuttings which can be are easily taken most of the year.