Salvia nipponica ‘Fuji Snow’: a small herbaceous perennial 10-20cmH, with variegated leaves and pale yellow flowers in autumn.
Salvia nipponica ‘Fuji Snow’ is one of the few variegated Salvias available.
Flowers: are a falcate type of flower, the whole flower is pale yellow. The straight hood is slightly parted to allow the stigma to protrude down,brushing against bees entering the flower. the 2 side lobes are curled back to open the throat area, leaving the middle lobe to act as a landing place for insects.
Although there isn’t an obvious beeline, the throat area is very open allowing insects to enter the flower easily.
Flowers are held in whorls of 4 flowers, on small green stems, that are held well above the foliage to attract passing insects.
Flowering usually occurs in autumn, just before the plant “goes down” for winter.
Calyces: are green, slightly sticky with clear hairs. Ribs are pronounced with pointed lobes. These and the small pointed bracts remain after the flowers are finished. Calyces remain green until cut off when the plant becomes dormant.
Leaves: are variegated, being green and splotched with white, sometimes within the leaf, others may have a white margin. Most leaves are a simple hastate shape, well veined with soft crenations along the margins. All stems are well clothed with large leaves.
Salvia nipponica ‘Fuji Snow’ is a lovely small woodland plant to be grown either in a pot or mass planted beneath a deciduous tree with other woodland plants.
Being variegated, it adds a lightness to a garden bed, brightening up a dull corner. Often winter flowering bulbs are planted while this Salvia is dormant. this helps so the crowns are not accidentally dug up or trodden upon.
When the plants are becoming dormant, cut off all the flowering stems, clear away any old leaves, mulch well with leaf mould to keep the crown warm during the cold months of winter.
In early spring, before the leaves appear, feed and mulch well to deter slugs and snails and to keep the root area cool for the hot dry summer season.
Propagation: usually from tip cuttings in summer when the stems have elongated enough. Cuttings root easily.
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