Salvia 'Brittany'

Salvia ‘Brittany’

Salvia ‘Brittany’:  A tall open shrub 2-2.5mH with cordate leaves, and beautiful vermillion flowers with dark pink calyces  in autumn/ winter.

Salvia 'Brittany'
Salvia ‘Brittany’

Salvia ‘Brittany’ is a Salvia splendens hybrid

Flowers: are tubular, vermillion to orange in colour with a small straight hood, covered with orange hairs and a pale stripe down the centre to correspond to the pale area of the beeline.

The 2 side lobes are small, slightly flared out to open the throat area with the middle lobe being wide and slightly split. There is a pale area around the throat area to guide bees, birds and other pollinating insects further into the flower.
Small Honeyeaters are the main pollinators, but insects do try to climb inside the tube.

Flowers are  seen in whorls of 4 flowers  on a coloured flowering stem approx 15-20cm long.  These can be seen in autumn and winter, but can be prone to frost damage.

Calyces: are typical of the large open shape of a S. splendens hybrid.  a beautiful dark red to pink in colour, ribbed with each lobe being blunt pointed.  A small broad pink bract falls off as each flower opens.
Calyces fall off if the flowers are not pollinating, leaving a coloured flower stem.

Leaves: are broad cordate, bright green with a small pointed apex. Well veined, smooth in texture and small crenations along the margins. Most leaves appear at the middle to the top half of a stem, which allows the main stem to become woody.

Salvia ‘Brittany’ is stunning when in flower with all the shades of pink and cerise in the calyces and the vermillion/ orange flowers, making a wonderful contrast with the bright green large leaves.

As this Salvia is frost tender, it is best planted in a protected area with other shrubs. although it likes dappled shade, it also loves a sunny protected area.
Plant at the rear of a small bed or the centre of a  larger bed, with other tall bushy shrubs that will give protection  from frosts.

In late winter/ early spring when most of the flowers have finished, trim any flower stems, look at the shape, cut out any dead or twiggy stems and cut back to a new growth bud. It is necessary to trim back to encourage new growth. This like so many similar shrubs get woody without generating a lot of new growth, so pruning is necessary.

Once trimming has been completed, feed  and mulch well to keep the root area cool during the hot dry summer months. It may need an additional watering during those dry spells of hot weather.

Propagation: tip cuttings can be taken at any time of year.

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