Salvia eigii: A herbaceous perennial with large rosette leaves with spikes of pale pink & white flowers in late winter.
Salvia eiggii is one of the first herbaceous Salvias to appear, but begin flowering in late winter to catch the first of the insects emerging for the season.
Flowers: are pale pink and white, falcate type, held in whorls along stiff stems 60cm H to form beautiful panicles of flowers. The hood is pale pink with a pale pink stigma exerted through the top, looking like a snake ready to strike.
The bottom lobes begin as pale pink, but fade to white with the middle lobe often cupped to hold any dew and act as a landing place for insects. This lobe is beautifully marked around the throat , to act as a beeline to attract passing insects.
Flowers appear in late winter, continuing through to early summer.
Calyces: these are green, hairy and ribbed, set in whorls of4-6 flowers,all tightly packed along the coloured flowering stem. Most of the flowers come out at the one time with only a few remaining in bud to allow the flowering to continue till early summer.
Most of the calyces remain on the stem, but if pollinated, they become straw coloured and remain if the others drop off.
Leaves: Are large and wide, with undulating margins , dark green, thin textured, but slightly fissured for tunneling moisture down towards the stem.
These form a rosette at the base of the panicle of flower stems. A few smaller leaves appear at the base where the flower stems branch out. These are sessile, large with pointed tips.
Salvia eiggii is a very striking plant for the front of a border. When mass planted, either in a patch or along a path, it is a magnificent sight, a wow! factor . This is a plant that fits perfectly into a mixed border. They do well with small shrubs and other perennials with tall spikes of flowers with similar colours.
They make a wonderful display for a number of weeks.
These are easy to grow , but should be planted in a sunny position.
As with all herbaceous perennials, snails have to be watched.
When most of the display has finished, clean up plants by cutting off the old stems, collect any seed and tidy around the large leaves taking away any dead old leaves. Feed and mulch to keep the plants healthy until they go down in early autumn.
Keep the mulch up to protect the crown, especially in frosty areas until the first shoots appear and feed again.
Propagation: is by new side shoots or by seed. Very bee and insect friendly.