Salvia thysiflora

Salvia thysiflora

Salvia thysiflora:    This is  a medium sized bushy shrub 1.5- 2m H . A rounded open habit with masses of mauve coloured flowers in spring.
Salvia thysiflora
Salvia thysiflora

Salvia thysiflora:  is  mass of colour when in flower, making a stunning show.

Flowers: are small and showy with a small hood and a wide middle lobe, often slightly split. The 2 side lobes are fanned out to open up the white throat area.  A white beeline is prominent around the throat area to guide the bees and other pollinating insects further into the flower.

Flowers are held in small whorls of 3-4 flowers, which are connected to a small purple  coloured  pedicel, each creeping alternately up the flower stem. Flowers are clustered within the top 10-15 cm of the flower stem. These are held above the foliage to attract passing insects, flowering in early spring, through to early summer.

Calyces: are  small, usually a  dark purple brown colour with  lots of white hairs along the ribs, giving the impression that the calyces are grey. Very attractive en masse, especially on a dull day.

After the flowers have finished, the calyces drop if not pollinated, but remain to become straw coloured if holding small dark seeds within.

Leaves: are small, elliptical to lanceolate , well veined,  taking any available moisture down the stems towards the roots. A dull  mid green colour with a touch of grey, slightly hairy with a blunt pointed tip.

Salvia thysiflora is a compact open  rounded bushy shrub , best suited to the front of a bed to make an impact when in flower or perhaps towards the middle of a larger bed.

Plant either at the back of the bed with groundcovers or small shrubs in the foreground or plant with other dark leaved dense shrubs that will show off this delicate branched beauty.

Plant in a sunny protected position or within the light shade of a small open deciduous tree. This implies that it can tolerate a sunny position, but not a hot and dry spot, but also can tolerate semi shaded positions.
Although  winter hardy to cold , it may need some protection from heavy frosts.

Often when in flower, S. thysiflora is often mistaken for S.melissodora as they have similar flowers , both in shape and colour and growth habit.
S. melissodora flowers earlier in autumn and has a different perfume.

Due to the openness of the branch structure, it is still possible to plant other small shrubs and perennials beneath that benefit from it’s protection.

In late spring/ summer when most of the flowers have finished, then the shrub should be cleaned up by giving it a light trim to remove any old flower stems  and to keep a compacted shape. Too much twigginess should be removed, especially close to the ground which may interfere with other plants growing beneath.

This is also a good  time to feed,  promoting  new growth.  Mulch well to keep the root area cool during the hot dry summer months.. It will appreciate some extra water during the dry summer season.

Propagation: easily taken by tip cuttings from new shoots, taken in spring and summer.

 

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