A sure-to-be favorite is this hybrid from Denver's Kelly Grummons who crossed or perhaps found a bee seedling between Salvia darcyi and S. microphylla. This 2015 Plant Select introduction wowed us when we saw it in Denver in 2014. Blood-red flowers on 3'-4' stems from late June to October and hardy to zone 5. Grummons - you rule, dude!
Robust Salvia from a Hinkley collection at high elevation in Sichuan. This is a tough perennial which will increase in width with the large leaves acting as a weed suppressing shield. Rosy-purple flowers, at least as I remember them, are held nicely above the leaves in mid summer. Prefers light shade to a little sun.
Tender perennial from Brazil but easy to overwinter inside and worth every effort. This late bloomer has 6"-10" spikes of rusty red flowers jutting above dark green heavily textured foliage. Give those Asters something to idolize. Thanks to Beverley Merrifield for sharing unintentionally.
Salvia of the Gods. A small padding kneeling bench is handy to have in front of this plant to make it easier for garden visitors as they spontaneously fall to their knees. We forgive its need to be grown frost-free because the flowers rule. Immense red pendulous flowers from the huge calyces. Best not in wind.
This dandy Salvia came to us from the garden of Dan Post of whom we hold in the highest possible esteem. He has trialed this under intense deer pressure and it gets a thumbs up in all the critical categories. Easy, hardy, deer-proof and lovely. Bushy big leaves to 2' and tall branched flowering stems to 40" with blue violet flowers splotched in white, touched in yellow.
We got our plant from Stephen F. Austin Arboretum in Texas and while it is frost sensitive, the good display of blue flowers in late summer and fall makes this worth overwintering in the sunroom or cool greenhouse as it is perennial and such overwintered plants will start struttin' its flowers earlier in the summer with that typical Texan swagger.
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