Plant Description

Salvia Phyllis' Fancy

This is a very long-blooming salvia, with nearly eight months of flowering from late spring to autumn. It was a chance seedling discovered in the University of California Santa Cruz garden, and possibly has the same parentage as Salvia 'Waverly', which is said to be a hybrid of Salvia leucantha and Salvia chiapensis. It is a wide, rounded bushy perennial 1.5-2 m tall with pale lavender-blue spires of flowers held in dark calyces. It needs a fair amount of garden space. In full bloom, it gives a dainty hazy effect, which is very attractive. Its colour mixes with any other flower or leaf - it looks stunning in summer with the blue curved hook blooms of lofty subtropical Brillantaisia subulugurica, or with shrubby purple plectranthus and pink Japanese windflowers in early autumn. It also looks very effective with ornamental grasses, such as Miscanthus cultivars. It should be cut back to the base in winter once the new growth can be seen coming through at that time. If you want to grow winter/spring bulbs in the ground around it, it can be cut back earlier.

This Salvia forms a big, woody base as it gets older. Every few years, it can be a good idea to either chop out some of the base or else start anew with a fresh plant. It is sensitive to hard frosts. It will grow in sun, or partial shade in hotter areas. It is drought tolerant.

Of Interest

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