January 2016

Salvias and Ornamental Grasses

Our first talk of 2016 was by one of our members Gordon Malt, on his special subject:  SALVIAS.

Salvias come from a very diverse group of plants, and belong to the family Lamiaceae.  We recognise it easily as it has a square stem, and leaves are opposite each other  i.e. the Dead Nettle and Mint family.  It has a two lipped corolla and calyx.

Salvia pratensis is one of two native species.  ‘Embers Wish’ is reddish, is about 3ft high but not fully hardy.

‘East Friesland’, blue spikey is hardy and ‘Silas Dyson’ (hybrid) pinky-red.

Gordon reminded us the plants have tuberous roots.  ‘Cambridge Blue’ is a good one, and S. leucantha ‘Purple Velvet’ is useful as a cut flower, unlike most of them. ‘Indigo Spires’ is a nice blue and has long flower spikes.

For a late display use S. guaranitica – ‘Black and Blue’ stands tall at 2.0m and S. roemeriana is useful in containers.

Gordon drew our attention to grasses  Pennisetum ‘Red Buttons” and  Calamagrostis brachytricha. Both of which are worth growing.

Extract from an article written by Anne Clendon for the group magazine