Salvia barrelieri

Salvia barrelieri

Salvia barrelieri:Is a herbaceous perennial for the
Mediterranean, with large leaves and numerous upright spikes of lavender flowers 1- 1.2mH in spring and summer.

Salvia barrelieri
Salvia barrelieri

Salvia barrelieri coming from north Africa, likes  a full sun position and good drainage.

Flowers: are a falcate shape, mauve or sky blue in colour, with a  very full hood. The stigma is well exerted from the tip. The opening between the hood and the lower lobes becomes greater with age. The lobes seem to be connected by a hinge; the tube is completely concealed within the calyx.

The 2 side lobes are small and rolled out to open up the throat area.
The middle lobe is white and often cupped to hold a drop of moisture and act as a landing place for bees and other pollinating insects. This white lobe will begin to fall after the flower has been pollinated.

Usually there are numerous upright spikes of flowers;, these being held in whorls of 4 flowers on long pedicels. All whorls are regularly  held along the long flower stem;  sometimes reaching 1m or even 1.2mH.
Flowering begins in late spring, continuing through out the summer season, rarely going into autumn.

Calyces: are green, hairy, well ribbed  with each lobe being blunt but well pointed. Most calyces remain on the stem, after the flower is finished, becoming straw coloured with age, holding a couple of large round dark seeds.

Leaves: are long, wavy and large, being a grey green colour. These form an impressive mound around the base of the flower stem.
Leaves mainly show the midrib  with the veins having a more  marbled appearance. The top is faintly hairy, while the underside  has none. The midrib allows any moisture to be channeled down towards the roots.

Salvia barrelieri is an impressive plant in any garden with it’s tall upright flowering stems, especially in a informal mixed border.

Plant in a sunny position with other small shrubs and perennials that like similar growing conditions. Grow with white, bright yellow or oranges, mid pinks or other sky blue colours.

In early autumn, when the flowers have finished, collect any seed and cut down the flower spikes, clear away any old leaves and debris. Feed to give the exhausted plant nourishment before it goes down for winter.Mulch well to keep the crown warm during the winter months.
Always a good idea to use a marker for the position of the crowns.

In spring as the leaves are just emerging, feed again and top up the mulch to keep the root area cool during the hot dry summer season. it may need a suplimentry watering if there is a prolonged dry spell.

Propagation: usually by seed, sown while it is still warm or on a heat bed during the winter months to be ready for the spring planting. Small side shoots may be taken during summer to grow on for the next season.

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