Salvia forskaohlei

Salvia forskaohlei

Salvia forskaohlei: is a herbaceous perennial with large leaves and spikes of purple flowers in spring.

Salvia forskaohlei
Salvia forskaohlei

Salvia forskaohlei grows very well in the damp shade.

Flowers: are a falcate shape with a large purple hood and a long white stigma poking out at the top. The tube is white, but the lower lobes are purple.
The middle lobe is slightly split, looking like two lobes. A large white bib or bee line is featured at the centre of the lobe with beautiful purple markings at the throat to guide the bee or insects further inside the corolla.

Flowers appear in spring on long flowering stems, up to 60cmH. Flowers are held in simple whorls of 4 flowers around the stem at regular intervals. Most of the stem holds flowers with only 15- 20cm being just stem. The plant usually sends up just 1 stem which can be well branched to look like multiple stems.

Calyces: these are green, slightly hairy with visible white hairs along the pronounced ribs. There may be some colouring along the ribs or at the pointed tips, these would be on the exposed side.
When the flowers are finished most of the calyces remain, turning a straw colour holding 4 black seeds. These are dispersed by wind blowing the stem or by animals/ humans brushing pass and knocking the stem.

Leaves: Can be very large depending on the availability of water during the season. Generally the leaves are cordate in shape with soft rounded crenations along the edges, hairy, with fine white bristles on both surfaces and well veined. the veination helps to guide any moisture down towards the petiole towards the roots.Because the leaves can be large, the petiole is relatively short, green and angular.


Salvia forskaohlei is a great plant for shady areas, under trees, in those dark damp corners at the bottom of the garden. They have proved to be the perfect edging plant around our beds in the Display Garden at Nobelius.

Unfortunately they can self seed everywhere. Most times the seedlings can be used to boost the existing planting but it is advisable to keep a look out for stray seedlings, especially if the garden is near a park or a natural area. We don’t want these plants becoming pests.

In cold areas, the plant will become completely dormant in the colder months, reappearing when the temperature begins to rise. In warmer areas such as in the suburbs,the plants may not go completely down, but will continue to produce a crop of green leaves during winter, but flowers only appear in Spring, from November onwards.

When the plant has gone down, it time to clean up the clump, by clearing away any dead or oldĀ  leaves. Mulch the crown well to keep the root area warm during the cold winter months.
When new growth appears, feed well and begin to water.

Propagation: either by seed or when new growth appears,takingĀ  pups when the stems are big enough.

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