Salvia chinensis: A small herbaceous perennial from China with small basal leaves, a tall flowering stem of 1mH with small mauve flowers in spring.
Salvia chinensis is a small clumping perennial that is winter dormant, reappearing in spring.
Flowers: are very small, mauve/purple, a falcate type flower, but with a small furry hood and small mauve lobes. The middle lobe is curled beneath, showing the white beeline up to the throat. This guides the insects into the flower.
Flowers found in whorls of approx 6-8 flowers around the long brown green stem, which are evenly spaced between the whorls. This continue all the way to the tip, where a few pointed bracts can be seen.
Flowering begins in spring and continues through the summer and well into autumn before going down. In mild conditions, flowers may be seen in the winter months.
Calyces: are a crimson purple colour, short and distinctly ribbed with pointed flared lobes.
Each plant will send up 1 or 2 tall central flower stems,growing approx. 1mH.These are sturdy, very hairy , showing the typical square stem.
Leaves are small and round, beautifully lobed, 5-7 lobes with a round end lobe, dark green often with coloured serrated margins on long thin coloured petioles Growth is in a rosette basal formation with the flowering stems arising from the centre.
Salvia chinensis is a very attractive plant, often grown in pots or massed in the garden under a tree.
The flower stems,being sturdy give the plant a dainty appearance with the gorgeous small mauve flowers in whorls going all the way up the long stems. These are insect pollinated.
Grow in the shade under a deciduous tree or a sunny sheltered position with other woodland perennials that have either dainty flowers or interesting leaves.
After dying down in late autumn/winter, they will generally come back up if grown in moist well drained soil that has a good amount of rotted leaf compost. It doesn’t like hot dry nor wet soil.
When the flowers have completely finished, collect the seed and cut off the old stems, tidy the clump. If the plant goes completely under in the cold months, then provide a marker, so the area is not disturbed by digging or trodden upon.
Propagation: is either from seed or division of the clump.
Not often available
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