Salvia judaica

Salvia judaica

Salvia  judaica: is a small herbaceous clumping perennial 10-20cmH with many spikes of mauve flowers in late spring and long pinnate leaves.
Salvia judaica
Salvia judaica

Salvia judaica is found at the edge of  woodlands and open paddocks.

Flowers: are small, mauve with a very open falcate corolla. The flowers are held in whorls of 6-8 flowers all facing downwards. All lobes are the same colour. The hood is slightly split, showing the two lobes that make up the hood. the bottom lobes are about the same size as the hood, these are open on the same plane as the hood, so all the stigma and anthers are positioned for easy access for bees and insects to find.

There is a small paler patch around the throat as a beeline to guide the insects further inside the flower.
Many spikes of flowers appear in late spring and early summer on dark coloured square stems. These are held well above the basal growth to attract passing insects and small birds.

Calyces: are a slightly darker mauve colour. They are long and tubular with well defined ribs and very pointed lobes. Again facing downwards.

Leaves: are a light mid green colour,  long pinnate type leaves, 10-15cm long, with each lobe being small and round, finishing with a round terminal lobe. these form a basal clump, from which the spikes of flowers emerge from the centre.

As Salvia judaica is a small clumping perennial, this makes this Salvia ideal for a rockery or grown enmasse along a border or self seeding  in a gravel garden.

Plant this small Salvia with other small prairie or woodland perennials that like a sunny position. The mauve flowers go well with yellows, pinks of all shades and white coloured plants.

At the end of summer and autumn, when the plant is preparing to “go down” for winter, then tidy up the plant by clearing away old leaves, spent flower stems. Spread gravel or grit over the crown to prevent snails from eating the tender young shoots in spring and place a marker beside the plant so it is not dug up accidentally and can be easily found in spring.
When shoots appear in spring, feed and mulch well to keep the root area cool during the hot dry summer season.

Propagation :can  be either small basal cuttings taken in spring  and  late summer from new growth, division of the clump or by seed sown in early spring.

 

 

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