Salvia dentata

Salvia dentata

Salvia dentata:   A small shrub to 1m H from Sth Africa, with pale blue flowers. Tough, hardy enjoying a full sun position.

Salvia dentata
Salvia dentata

 

Salvia dentata is similar to Salvia murii, but the leaves are dentated,

the growth habit is more angular and it has a vase shaped calyx.

Flowers: are pale sky blue , small, an extended lower lip often flared with a pronounced white beeline with interesting blue markings to act as a landing strip for bees and insects . The tube is white with prominent ribs. Flowers are in tight whorls of 4 flowers. These are crowded at the end of short stems, but held above the foliage to attract passing insects.

Flowers usually appear in spring, flowering  through to autumn. Very bee and insect friendly.

Calyces: are small, green, vase shaped turning pink or burnished as they age, making a lovely contrast with the grey green leaves and the blue/ mauve flowers.  When he flowers have finished, if they have been pollinated, they will remain turning  brown until the seed drops or is collected.

Leaves: are small, a soft grey/ green, lineal, slightly inverted, especially when grown hard. Very aromatic. Small dentations appear along the edges  – hence the name,  with a soft pointed apex . Most stems are angular. While the new stems are well clothed in leaves, the stems soon become woody.

Salvia dentata is often mistaken for S. muirii, but the leaves are undulating , stems angular and aromatic, the calyces are vase shaped and the leaves have small dentations along the edges of the leaves.

A nice small upright dense shrub that is tough and  hardy for hot dry summers, frosts and cold hardy for winter.
Plant either at the front of the bed or in clumps to act as a backdrop for  a groundcover.  As the  foliage is small, this lends itself to clipping well, to create small hedges, balls or other shapes.

Being tough and hardy, S.dentata grows well in gravel gardens, in full sun with other small hardy shrubs and perennials that enjoy similar growing conditions.

Propagation: usually by tip cuttings which  are easily taken from new growth.
Not often available

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