Information about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld
Salvia species, hybrids and cultivarsFamily: Lamiaceae
There's great variety amongst the Salvias. A huge number of species and varieties derived from them are in cultivation worldwide.
Some can be used in formal bedding schemes, others are more at home in an informal cottage garden. There's also a great diversity of sizes. Some can reach 2 metres. Tall types will be more suitable for the rear of a bed and may require stakes or similar spport to look their best.
A good group for creating a cottage garden look with many types that are easy-to grow in a subtropical climate. The flowers create a soft and somewhat understated display compared to some perennials, but generally speaking they're much more suitable for our climate than many of the other cottage garden classics we might read about in gardening books from cooler climates.
S. splendens is available cheaply in punnets, often treated as annuals in bedding displays. Red is the most common flower colour (see illustration top right) but other mixes are available.
S. farinacea is another species widely used as bedding. The blue flowered varieties look somewhat like lavender (they're in the same family) and could be used instead (lavender being problematic in this climate). There are also while-flowered types.
Some popular named varieties which should be easy to find in the marketplace in Qld include 'Wendys Wish' (bright pink) and others in the Wish series, 'Mystic Spires' (blue), 'Amistad' (blue), 'Hot Lips' (white and red bicolour). New and improved forms (more compact, more floriferous) are being released every year.
Other ornamental types may be available from time to time, or from specialist suppliers (online and/or at plant shows).
Some salvias have uses as food or medicine. Culinary sage (one of the more difficult ones to grow locally is a Salivia species. Pineapple sage is another with culinary uses.
Where to buy Salvias in Qld
Regular garden centres will probably have a selection of some ornamental Salvias for sale as well as culinary sage. Herb nurseries are also likely to have a some Salvia species on offer, especially those with culinary or medicinal uses.
Gardeners seeking a greater range or collectors wishing to buy rare species etc. may want to find a specialist salvia nursery. Sorry, there are no such suppliers advertising here at present. If you operate such a nursery (including online and mail order nurseries) offering Salvia plants or seeds for sale, please consider promoting your nursery on this page and supporting this website. Information for advertisers.
Garden shows are other places to look for salvias, because smaller specialists sometimes attend such events.
More Online Information
The following links are for general information, research and ideas - some species or cultivars may be unavailable in Australia or unsuitable for Queensland conditions
Ornamental Salvias Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Ornamental Salvia University of California (PDF)
Salvias Can Provide Year-Round Color Hendry County Extension Service, Univ Florida
Sage Advice About Salvia Montgomery County Maryland
Salvia Research Network Department of Botany, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Robin's Salvias Pictures and notes on a huge range of Salvia species and cultivars. United Kingdom
Salvias over Texas at the website of "Higher Ground", a garden in southeast Texas
Rodbaston National Salvia Collection Rodbaston College, U.K.
Mexico Salvia trip photographs by Yoke van der Meer
Some Species and Cultivars
The following concentrates mainly on types suitable for the subtropics and tropics. These are just a few, this information resource will be expanded in future updates.
This one self seeds so easily its almost a weed, but is very easy to pull up where its not wanted.
Lady in Red Salvia in "2002 Georgia Gold Medal Winners", University of Georgia (PDF)
Salvia coccinea The Herb Society of America (PDF)
Salvia coccinea Indian River Research and Education Center, University of Florida
Salvia discolor UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research, University of British Columbia, Canada
Salvia discolor National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens, U.K.
Pineapple sage great for foliage and flowers Salvia elegans. Mississippi State University
Salvia elegans X leucantha 'Anthony Parker'
Mealycup Sage, Blue Sage Salvia farinacea Online Manual of Subtropical Landscaping Plants, Palm Beach Community College, Florida
Henry Duelberg Lives! Article about Salvia farinacea 'Henry Duelberg' in Garden News. Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2006. Mast Arboretum, Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas (PDF)
Salvia gauranitica The Florez Nursery blog, NSW
Salvia guaranitica 'Black & Blue' Indian River Research and Education Center, University of Florida
'Black & Blue' Anise Sage Salvia guaranitica 'Black & Blue'. Paghat's Garden, USA
Salvia gaurantica X Salvia gesnerifolia 'Amistad'
US Patent says these are probable parents. Itt arose as a chance seedling in a garden in Argentina
Salvia plant named 'Amistad' United States Patent and Trademark Office
Plant of the week - Salvia 'Amistad' Botanic Gardens of South Australia
Salvia gesneriflora 'Tequila' & Agave 'Tequila' The Florez Nursery blog, NSW
Salvia greggii Waterwise Plants for Perth Gardens, Water Corporation
Autumn Sage, Cherry Sage Salvia greggii Online Manual of Subtropical Landscaping Plants, Palm Beach Community College, Florida
Salvia greggii (Autumn sage) Arid Plant List, University of Arizona
Salvia greggii Indian River Research and Education Center, University of Florida
Autumn Sage: Salvia Greggii Texas A&M University
Salvia involucrata 'Joan' The Florez Nursery blog, NSW
Salvia leucantha, Mexican Sage The Florez Nursery blog, NSW
Salvia leucantha (Mexican bush sage) Arid Plant List, University of Arizona
Mexican Sage Salvia leucantha Online Manual of Subtropical Landscaping Plants, Palm Beach Community College, Florida
Salvia leucantha Indian River Research and Education Center, University of Florida
Mexican Bush Sage - Salvia leucantha Texas ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects)
Photoperiodic Control of Flowering of Salvia leucantha from Progress in New Crops, Proceedings of the Third National Symposium New Crops New Opportunities, New Technologies
Saliva longispicata X farinacea 'Mystic Spires'
Mystic Spires Blue is a hot perennial salvia Mississippi State University
Salvia Mystic Spires Blue Photos of them growing in garden beds. Annual Flower Trials at Bluegrass Lane, Ithaca, New York. Cornell University
Salvia x 'Indigo Spires' Univ. Florida
Salvia madrensis ,Gold Fountain Sage The Florez Nursery blog, NSW
'Hot Lips' is a very popular cultivar
Salvia microphylla The Florez Nursery blog, NSW
Salvia microphylla The Herb Society of America
Salvia splendens, Scarlet Sage The Florez Nursery blog, NSW
Salvia splendens University of Florida, USA (PDF)
Annual Salvia, Scarlet Sage Salvia splendens Online Manual of Subtropical Landscaping Plants, Palm Beach Community College, Florida
Salvia splendens-Scarlet Sage Michigan State University Extension
Possible Misspellings: Salvea, Solvia