Salvia bulleyana: is a herbaceous perennial to 20cmH, from China, with rosette basal growth and beautiful yellow and purple flowers.
Salvia bulleyana is closely related to S. flava, often regarded as a synonym. In horticulture S. bulleyana is frequently called S. flava.
Flowers: are extremely interesting small flowers.The flower has a falcate shape with the hood, the fat tube and the two side lobes being a bright yellow. The gap between the hood and bottom lobes is large for a small flower which is why the bottom lobe is a deep velvety purple. This vibrant colour attracts and guides the insects into the throat of the flower for nectar.
One or more green hairy flowering stems appear in late spring. early summer.
Calyces: are a bright green, hairy and ribbed, showing each lobe clearly. Buds are held in a whorl of 4 flowers opening and 4 more yet to come, to give a staggered opening of flowers.this has the effect of a long flowering period.
Leaves: appear in a rosette growth formation with small roundish leaves on long stems, a dull midgreen colour, rugose in texture with soft hairs on both sides.
Salvia bulleyana has developed this contrasting of the bright yellow hood and the gorgeous purple bottom lip makings this flower very attractive for the purpose of attracting bees and other pollinating insects during the short summer season.
This is a difficult plant to grow and keep from year to year. It needs a sunny/ semi shaded protected area. Normally growing in woodland situations. Hates hot / dry summer heat and winds and hates wet feet, so need good draining soil that keep moist but not wet.
Best to grow in a large pot so you know where it is, ( you don’t accidentally dig it up) and can watch any snails or slugs. Mulch well to keep the root area within the pot cool. Use a terracotta or light coloured pot, so it doesn’t absorb too much heat in the summer.
As S. bulleyana is winter dormant, clean up the plant, by cutting down old stems and mulch to keep the crown warm during the winter months. When the shoots appear again in spring, feed and top up the mulch for the summer. Water well and keep moist in a semi shaded position.
Propagation: is only by seed which should be sown each year as a back up plant.
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