Salvia coccinea bicolor

Salvia  coccinea ‘Bicolor’

Salvia  coccinea ‘Bicolor’: is a small open upright shrub      60-80cm H. with pale pink and white flowers through spring and summer.
Salvia coccinea bicolor
Salvia coccinea bicolor

Salvia coccinea bicolor can be grown as a annual or as a perennial if protected from frost. Enjoying a sunny or semi shaded position.

Flowers: are 2 toned or bicoloured with the long  thin hood being a lovely pale  pink colour, almost white. Flowers are semi tubular with stamens being well exerted  from the hood. The lower lobes being a beautiful pink , almost  a coral colour.
Both side lobes are well displayed, often a slightly paler colour, but the middle lobe is flattened, flared out with a slight split. A white area around the throat area shows as a beeline to guide the insects into the flower.
Flowering from spring till autumn, making a wonderful display in a sunny protected location.

Calyces: are green, slightly hairy, ribbed with pointed lobes. Flowers are set in whorls of 6-8 flowers, well spaced along a long green flowering stem, held above the foliage to attract passing insects. Calyces remain on the stem, gradually drying over the summer months usually producing copious amounts of seed.

Leaves: are soft, slightly hairy cordate or heart shaped , a mid green colour occurring in well spaced nodes along the stem. All stems are green and hairy. They have a pleasant fragrance when crushed.

Salvia coccinea bicolor is a  good addition to the garden, lighting up a dark corner with a beautiful soft  splash of colour  when grown en masse.Being suited to dappled shade, this Salvia is a useful plant to grow under high shrubs or trees.
Although enjoying extra  watering during the hot dry months of summer, it hates wet feet, tolerating dry shade quite well.Very attractive to butterflies and other insects.

At the end of autumn, when the main flowering period has finished, it’s time to tidy the plants, by cutting off all flowering stems, any dead or twiggy stems. Prune down to a good leafy shoot if keeping through winter.
Feed and mulch well at the beginning of spring to keep the root area cool during summer.

Propagation: is best  taken from tip cuttings from new growth for the flower colour as seed may not come true if more than one variety is grown.

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