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Salvia dominica

Salvia dominica: A tough hardy small shrubby perennial from the Middle East & Mediterranean 60 – 80 cm H with white flowers in summer.

Salvia dominica: is a tough, hardy plant for hot dry positions.

Flowers: are a delicate creamy white large falcate type flowers in whorls around the green hairy stems.

The hood is large, white with soft hairs and a purple stigma protruding from the tip. The hood being so large helps to attract the insects down to the flower, but also helps to open the throat area to allow the bees to crawl further into the flower.

The bottom lobes are creamy coloured. Often the middle lobe can be  yellow coloured or even pale pink. The middle lobe is cupped to catch and hold a drop of dew for the insects visiting the flowers. it also acts as a landing place for insects.

Flowers are held in woolly whorls of 4 flowers around a green hairy stem. The buds are beautifully woolly with soft white hairs. Flowering stems can be at least 20cm long before branching, appearing well above the foliage to attract passing insects.

Flowers can appear in late winter through summer  to autumn.

Calyces: are green, ribbed, hairy and opened wide for the corolla to expand. If pollinated the calyces become straw coloured, remaining on the stem until the seed ripens and drops.

Leaves: are large with a basal growth habit, aromatic, grey green in colour, lanceolate, textured and velvety to touch, often inverted like a boat with the underside being soft and paler with small crenations along the margins.

Salvia dominica: is a good tough hardy plant for hot dry areas, being hardy during both the summer and winter months as well as tolerating hard frosts.

A good plant for a grey or white colour planting theme. Perfect for a mixed border in a gravel garden or in a rockery. Plant with other small shrubs and perennials that enjoy similar growing conditions.

But S.dominica must have full sun with good drainage. Plant where the lovely aromatic leaves can be brushed against as you pass by.

In autumn when most of the flowering has finished, it’s time to tidy the plant. Clear away any old dead leaves, collect any seed and cut down old flower stems.

Feed and mulch well to keep the crown warm during the winter months. ( the crown may shrink to just a few basal leaves before new growth appears in spring.). In late winter, early spring, feed again and top up the mulch to keep the root area cool during the hot summer season.

Propagation: is usually by seed or new basal growths in late summer.

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