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Salvia Bethelii (involucrata)

Salvia ‘Bethellii’ ( involucrata): is a medium growing  Salvia, 1.2mH with perennial growth, flowering most of the year with  a compact cerise flower head.

Salvia involucrata 'Bethelii'
Salvia involucrata ‘Bethelii’

Salvia ‘Bethelii’  is a dwarf form of  S. involucrata. The parent can grow to 3m H. If you can’t grow the taller parent, then S. ‘Bethelii’ is ideal for a small garden. Little birds enjoy flitting around the flowers.

Flowers: are  a cerise pink, compact, in a whorl of bracts at the top of the flowering stem with a small rounded pronounced knob  (involucrote which contains more flowers ). Each corolla is tubular with a small furry hood. The throat and two side lobes are white and the bottom lobe is cerise . Flowering from spring, through out summer until autumn and occasionally into winter.

Calyces: are a lovely crimson colour, ribbed with pointed tips. Each cerise bract falls off as each flower begins to fully open.

Leaves are  a cordate shape, mid green with a elongated tapered apex. Texture is smooth and thin, well veined withe petioles often coloured pink.

S.’Bethelii’  puts on a good show through out summer and into autumn with the corollas appearing all around the stem. this occurs if planted in a sunny position, allowing plenty of access for small birds to enter the flowers for nectar.

In cold areas it can be herbaceous, appearing again in spring. As it has perennial growth, it can form a clump expanding  gradually, sending up new shoots away from the old central parent.

Liking a sunny or a semi shaded protected position,as it it frost tender, this makes a wonderful mid height Salvia planted behind smaller plants or as a filler plant in front of larger shrubs. Looks good behind a small hedge.

The cerise coloured flowers of Salvia ‘Bethelii’ contrast beautifully with vivid purples and dark blue in the autumn sun.  Once established, a clump can be tough and hardy during the summer months, but only if well mulched to keep the root area cool.

Once most of the flowering has finished, then cut down the old stems, allowing the new growth to regenerate the clump. Cut out old dead or weak stems, feed and mulch well.

Propagation  is usually in the form of tip cuttings from new growth.