Salvia biserrata

Salvia biserrata

Salvia biserrata: is a herbaceous clumping perennial 1- 1.2mH with royal blue flowers in late spring and summer, that grows well in a sunny protected position.

Salvia biserrata
Salvia biserrata syn guatamala spp

Salvia biserrata is a syn for the spp from Guatemala

Flowers: are  a royal blue to purple, semi tubular with the bottom lobes being much longer than the hood.
The hood is dark blue, straight and  hairy , with a faint white stripe  along the top. This is to attract bees and insects, especially on cloudy days or at night.

The bottom lobes are much longer than the hood. The 2 side lobes are the same dark blue colour and large, but the tube is a paler blue. The  middle lobe can be a brighter blue, hanging down often divided at the bottom. A prominent pale to white beeline is a feature of this plant . This long bottom lobe acts as a landing place for insects, while being guided into the flower by the obvious beeline.

Flowers are situated in whorls of 6-8 flowers along a green hairy stem. The flowering stem can be 12-15cm long with most of the stem holding flowers at the same time.

Flowers are seen from late spring to early mid summer and continue until autumn. Flowers are held well above the foliage to attract bees and other pollinating insects. The beeline can be seen easily from above.

Calyces:  are green, occasionally colouring at the tips, small clear hairs are seen  along the numerous ribs, with the lobes being fairly blunt but pointed. When the flowers have finished, they will fall and eventually so will the calyces, leaving a bare green stem.

Leaves:  are fairly large, lanceolate to ovate in shape, a mid green with veins easily seen. Both surfaces have soft hairs with the underneath being slightly paler.
A clump of large basal leaves can form at the base of the main stems. All stems are well clothed, all along each green  stem till the flowering stem begins.

Salvia biserrata enjoys a semi shaded position or at least a sunny protected position from wind and frost.

A very attractive plant to have in a shrubbery. Plant among other medium sized shrubs, but more towards the front, rather than being hidden by other shrubs. This Salvia is small enough to be planted in a large tub to be a feature plant showing off those beautiful blue or purple flowers.

As this plant is winter dormant,mainly in cold areas, it may remain green in warmer climes. After most of the flowering has finished, cut down flowering stems and clear away the old leaves and debris. Mulch the crown well to keep warm during cold winters. Mark the crown so the area isn’t accidentally dug up.

In late winter, just as the leaves are beginning to emerge, feed well and top up mulch to keep the roots cool during the hot dry summer season.

Propagation: is usually by tip cuttings taken during the growing season

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