Salvia dolomitica

Salvia dolomitica

Salvia dolomitica: A tough, hardy shrubby perennial from Sth Africa 1m H with aromatic leaves and pale pink flowers in spring and summer.

Salvia dolomitica
Salvia dolomitica

Salvia dolomitica is a surprisingly tough plant for a hot dry sunny position.

Flowers: are a pale pink to lilac falcate type with a large narrow lilac coloured hood and  a noticeably extended purple stigma. The middle lower lobe is extended and slightly split. A lilac border surrounds the  lovely cream  and purple beeline markings around the throat. The throat is opened wide to allow the bees and insects to venture further into  the flower.
Flowers appear in clusters of 4 flowers per whorl at the top of  the flowering stem. Flowering usually begins in late winter, early spring through summer and into autumn.

Calyces: begin as pale green, but soon begin to change to a nice rosy pink colour. The  calyx is  vase shaped but with distinct lobes, 3 at the top and 2 below. Each are ribbed, broad with rounded tips. They have a nice medicinal/ lemony aroma .

Leaves: are silver grey, thin textured but leathery, slightly wavy with entire edges, lanceolate shaped with a pointed  tip.The underside show the veins clearly. Leaves appear along the whole stem to the ground. These have a distinct  medicinal scent, being used for medicinal purposes in Sth Africa.

The profuse flowering of Salvia dolomitica gives a pale pink airy feeling to the bush – a lovely sight. It has an upright shrubby habit, growing up 1m H and wide, forming a good dense clump.

A lovely grey shrub to use as a  focal point or as a  contrast to other green or coloured shrubs and perennials. Perfect in a grey / silver themed garden. The pale pink of the flowers work well with other pale pinks and white coloured perennials.

A tough hardy plant for those hot sunny spots in the garden. Good in frost areas, tolerating the cold winter months well.
As the name implies, it comes from an area high in dolomite / calcium.
Plant in alkaline soil or sprinkle  calcium annually  around the base of the plant to help keep  healthy.

At the end of autumn, when most of the flowering has finished, then it’s time to begin tidying up.
Cut out any dead, twiggy stems, stems that are crossing through the bush, keeping the stems growing upright. Cut out old flowering multibranched stems, leaving new upright growth. Clean out old dead fallen leaves.
Feed and mulch well to keep the root area protected during the cold winter months and any frosts that might occur. In spring, feed again and top up mulch to keep the root area cool during the hot dry summer season.

Propagation: is by new growth tip cuttings. Old growth doesn’t propagate well. Very bee and insect friendly.

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