Salvia kuznetzovii: is a herbaceous perennial,40-60cmH, making a small basal clump, with mauve/purple flowers in spring and summer
Salvia kuznetzovii was originally Salvia pratensis var causcasica
This Salvia has it’s origins from the Caucasus mountain region in Central Asia.
Flowers: A falcate type, with a curved mauve/ purple hood,with the stigma exerted from the tip, a white tube and mauve/purple lower lobes.
The middle lobe is usually cupped to catch a drop of dew and to act as a landing place for bees and other pollinating insects. The 2 side lobes are the same colour but jut out like the rests on an armchair, this helps to guide the insects further toward the pale bee line at the throat and further into the flower.
The flower stem is compact with multiple whorls of 6-8 flowers around a coloured stem. These are situated closely and regularly along the stem, giving an impression of a compacted flower head.
Flowers appear in late spring on multiple stems reaching approx 30 -40cm long. Flowering can continue until mid to late summer when most of the flowers have finished and the seed is left to ripen. Flowering stems are held well above the foliage to attract passing bees and insects.
Calyces: are primarily green with brown/purple coloured ribs, giving the impression of the whole calyx is coloured. The inside of the calyx is green. The calyces are not large, but wide open with each lobe being slightly pointed. A number of clear hairs are found along the many ribs.
When the flowers have finished, these will drop, leaving the calyces to ripen to a straw colour, full of small dark seeds. These should be collected and removed at the end of the season.
Leaves: these are large and wide, forming a tight clump of bright green leaves with rounded crenations along the edges. Veins are well indented to transport any moisture down toward the roots. A number of small stem leaves can be seen in opposite pairs along the flowering stem.
A pale pink form of S.kuznetzovii ‘Roze Vorm’ can also be found.
Both forms grow into a large clump, preferring a sunning position.
This Salvia looks best if grown in a mixed border where the clumps of leaves can be hidden but the long stems of flowers can be seen above the foliage. Both colours would look best if grown in groups of 3-5 or more.
Grow with either similar type of plants or other white, pink or vibrant purple perennials and small shrubs. These would do well in a pastel or pale coloured themed garden.
Liking a sunny position, they prove to be tough and hardy for the hot dry summers, growing well in most soil types, especially if mulched well. These are winter dormant, going down in late autumn.
In late autumn, when the stems and plants are looked betraggled, collect any seeds and cut off old flowering stems and leaves, tidying up the crown, getting rid of any debris and mulch to keep the crown warm.
In late winter/ early spring, just as the leaves are beginning to show, feed well and top up mulch to keep the root area cool during the hot dry summer season.
Propagation: Usually by seed, but side slips can be taken after the leaves are fully developed.
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