Salvia virgata: is a herbaceous perennial 30cmH. enjoying a sunny position with basal growth and spikes of mauve flowers in summer.
Salvia virgata originates from the Caucasus region
Flowers: are a blue/ mauve/ purple colour, falcate type flower, The hood is large with the stigma and stamens exerted, the bottom lobes are turned down to act as a landing platform for bees and other insects to allow them to enter the flower.
The beeline area around the throat on the middle lobe is paler to guide the bees inside the flower.
The flowers are densely grouped along a green flowering stem, held high above the foliage to catch passing insects. Appearing in mid spring, these will last well into summer.
Calyces: are green, ribbed with sticky glands at the ends of hairs to help with the pollination. Those that are more exposed are often coloured.
Leaves: are basal, long , mid green, moderately wide with a blunt pointed apex and small crenate margins.
Salvia virgata makes a good clump, producing many spikes of showy mauve/ blue flowers during the summer months. Grown in a sunny position, it makes an excellent border plant or a cottage garden plant to attract bees and moths.
Although easily grown, this Salvia needs a full sun position and good drainage with plenty of compost dug in to perform well in the average garden.
Grow among other perennials of deep purples, pinks, vibrant blues, whites and yellows for a balanced garden setting.
When the flowering period is finished, collect seed and cut down old stems, clean out old leaves before going down for winter. Mulch well to keep the crowns warm during the cold months.
Just as the new shoots are about to appear in spring, feed with a good fertilizer and mulch to stop snails and slugs and to keep the root area cool during the hot summer months.
Propagation: Easily grown from seed or cuttings from basal new shoots or divided clumps.
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