Salvia koyamae

Salvia koyamae

Salvia koyamae: is a herbaceous groundcover perennial from Japan, 10cmH with hastate leaves and yellow flowers in autumn.

Salvia koyamae
Salvia koyamae

Salvia koyamae is Japanese, most of which are yellow.

Flowers: are a falcate type with a thick straight hood and a long yellow stigma hanging down, exerted from the middle.
The hood, the tube and the  2 side lobes are only slightly paler than the bottom middle lobe. The 2 side lobes are rolled back to open the flower to allow bees and other pollinating insects easier access to the inside of the corolla.
The bottom lobe is straight and long with a slight split in the middle, giving the look of a frill. The bottom lobe acts as a landing place for insects before they explore the throat area brushing against the pollen sacs as they enter the corolla.

Flowers are held in whorls of 4 flowers, each at regular intervals along  a short stem. Approx. 4-6 whorls are common. All held above the foliage to attract passing insects.

In a good year, there can be 2 sets of flowering, one in the spring, shortly after most of the plant has grown enough stems and leaves, but the main flowering period is in early autumn, just before they begin to ” go down for winter”.

Calyces: are green, distinctly ribbed with each lobe having a blunt point. The calyces remain green after the flower has finished and will remain until cut off. Green bracts also remain after the whorls have opened, remaining with the empty calyces until cut off.

Leaves: are a broad hastate shape with sharp crenations along the margins. Leaves are a mid green, well veined with an acute tip.

Salvia koyamae is a prostate groundcover, well suited to a dappled sunny area in a woodland setting.

Plant en masse  under a deciduous tree for a fantastic effect. Stems can be wide spreading, being the perfect low ground cover in front of taller small shrubs and perennials.

Easy to grow in semi shade, having moist leaf matter and being well mulched. Extra water may be necessary during the hot dry months of summer.

In early winter when most of the leaves and stems have died down, cut off and any unsightly leaves and withered stems, mulch the crown to keep warm during the cold winter months.

In late winter/ early spring, just before the leaves emerge, feed well and top up mulch to keep the root area cool during the hot dry summer months.

Propagation: usually from tip cuttings taken in late spring early summer, when the stems have elongated enough to take cuttings.

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