Salvia nemerosa ‘East Friesland’ : (A sylvestris x nemerosa cross)
A herbaceous perennial 40-60cmH with spikes of masses of mauve flowers in spring and summer
Salvia nemerosa ‘East Friesland’ was one of the earliest varieties of herbaceous Salvias to become popular for mixed borders.
Flowers: are a purple/mauve falcate type in whorls around a flower stem approx 10-12cm long.
Both the hood and the lower lobes are more or less the same colour purple/mauve. The middle lobe is often cupped to collect dew and moisture for insects, this also acts as landing place for bees.
Flowers appear early in spring through summer into early autumn. The colour of the calyces
Calyces: are green with coloured ribs with pointed tips. The bracts begin as green but quickly become a pink/ purple colour. These often drop off as soon as the flowers open.
Whorls consist of 6-8 flowers, all appearing along the flower stems at regular intervals, up to at least 10cm. The colour of the calyces and bracts can give the flowers extra colour from a distance, an extra glow.
If not pollinated, the calyces will drop off, but if bees have been visiting, then the calyx will remain , becoming straw coloured with small black seed within.
Leaves: are long, lineal, lanceolate, mid green with small crenations along the margin and a pointed tip. The midrib is often quite visible. A small petiole holds the lower leaves to the stem to form a rosette clump, but leaves become sessile as they appear up the flower stem.
S. ‘Eastfriesland’ is an early nemerosa X sylvestris which is very popular for edges and small public plantings. Growing to 40cm H, an upright sturdy growing plant. When planted en masse, it makes quite a sight. It’s tough and hardy for summer in a mixed bed, gradually going down in autumn and finally dormant in winter. If the bed remains dormant in the colder months, it may be advisable to plant bulbs in the bed to brighten up an otherwise bare patch. This is a very bee and moth friendly plant. Bees can be seen buzzing around the flowers most days.
When going down for winter, it’s time to tidy the clump. Collect any seed and cut stems down only by half, to use as a marker while dormant. This prevents them from being dug up accidentally or being trodden upon.
Remove old leaves and mulch well to keep the crown warm during the cold winter months.
When the first buds begin to appear in spring, feed well and watch for snails and slugs.
Propagation: is usually by seed , but cuttings taken early in the new growth period before flower stems appear or if a large clump is grown, the plant can be divided into new plants that can be added to the bed to make more of a colour splash in spring/ summertime.
Not often available