Salvia caudata

Salvia caudata

Salvia caudata: is a tall bushy large Salvia, usually 2-3m H for a semi shaded position  with purple flowers in winter.
Salvia caudata
Salvia caudata

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salvia caudata is a nice shrubby bush for a background position

Flowers: are a rich purple, a small tubular shape with furry hood. The bottom lobes are slender with the 2 side lobes folded into the middle lobe. A prominent white beeline, looking like a landing strip is seen from the  throat down to the middle lobe.
As the plant naturally grows in a shady area, these white beelines act as a beacon for bees, other insects and small honeyeater birds with long thin beaks.
Flowering occurs during winter, lasting until late spring. These appear in small clusters on a long coloured flowering stem.

Calyces: are a dark purple colour on the exposed sides, the underneath being green. Each lobe is ribbed and pointed. Flowers are held in small whorls of 4 flowers, often 2 flowers are open, with the remaining 2 flowers opening later. This is one of the few species where the dark pointed bracts remain after the flowers open.

Leaves: are a broad cordate shape, dark green with a distinctive vein pattern and small crenations around the edges. The stems soon become woody and branched.

Salvia caudata  forms a broad dense shrub that enjoys  partial shade with some protection from frost.
A very useful shrub for screening and providing protective branches for small birds. Grow at the back or middle of the bed or use for screening an unsightly area.

Grow among other tall large shrubs  to provide protection from strong winds and frosts. Plant with other crimsons, reds and yellow flowering shrubs to  provide some contrast during the flowering season.

In early summer when the main flowering season has finished, it’s time to trim  and clean out any dead or twiggy growth. As the general shape is fairly neat and tidy, it only requires  trimming to neaten the shape of the shrub.
If major branches need pruning, be sure to leave at least one branch with growth as the whole plant may go into shock and die if pruning is too drastic.
When completed, feed and mulch to keep the root area cool during the hot dry summer months.

Propagation: is usually  from tip cuttings taken in early summer from new growth

 

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