Plant Description

Salvia wagneriana

This is a big-growing shrubby salvia (to 3 m tall) from South America, which flowers in winter. There are several varieties, one with pinkish-cream flowers and another with dark pink blooms (this one is possibly the cultivar 'Excelsa', but it is sometimes listed as 'Dark Form'). It should be cut back almost to ground level after it has finished flowering and also hacked back in midsummer to control its growth. It is pretty with flowers of white, darker pinks, purple or blue flowers; silver foliage also complements it. It makes a good companion to pink camellias in bloom at the same time or lilac Buddleja salvifolia which flowers in winter. Its lush foliage makes a good background screen over summer. It is best grown in part-shade, away from afternoon sun, especially in hot areas. It is frost tender.

Postscript: I eventually removed my plant as it had got woody and unproductive. I still admire it in the garden of my friends who have plenty of space for the big Salvia specimens.

Of Interest

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Salvia wagneriana
Out now in my Sydney garden.
Flowers from May to July.
Plant Family: Lamiaceae

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