Salvia curtiflora

Salvia  curtiflora

Salvia  curtiflora: is a tall  upright shrub 2-3m H, flowering in winter with small cerise  flowers with dark wine coloured calyces, that grows well in the shade.
Salvia curtiflora
Salvia curtiflora

Salvia curtiflora has lovely cerise flowers and dark wine coloured calyces.

Flowers: are small, tubular and a lovely bright cerise colour. The hood is about the same length as the bottom lobes. The 2 side lobes form a tunnel to allow the bees and birds to enter the flower. Most of the flower has fine pink hairs over the tube and  the hood, giving it a velvety appearance.
Although a beeline is not apparent, there is a faint pale stripe on the hood to guide birds and insects into the flower.

Flowers are clustered in small whorls of 4-6 flowers,  along the dark flower stem at the ends of branches, often looking like candles above the foliage.  The whole flower stem is slim with buds facing upwards. These long flower stems are to attract passing small birds with long beaks like our Honeyeaters and insects.
Not really a showy plant, but very nice when in flower.  Flowering mainly in winter/ early spring.

Calyces: are a lovely dark wine colour,nicely ribbed, not hairy with each pointed lobe, flared or curled back slightly.
The dark bracts remain well after the flowers have opened, adding to the attractiveness of the flower.

Leaves: are grass green, broad cordate, well veined  with serrated margins along the margins. The stems can grow in various directions, going around and over obstacles, but mainly aim for the sun.

Salvia curtiflora is an interesting plant to grow in among a shrubbery, tall and upright, often grown crowded with other shrubs, hence the stems growing in different directions. Grows well in a shady position, but needs protection from frost and winter cold.

After flowers have finished in summer, the shrub should be neatened. The shrub doesn’t necessarily need cutting down like so many others, but any dead stems and weak, wavy / curling stems should be removed, encouraging the tall straight growth to continue.

Feed  and mulch well to keep the root area cool during the hot dry summer months. Additional water may be needed during summer.

Propagation: is easy by tip cuttings, taken at any time of the year.

Not often available

 

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