Friday, January 24, 2014

Tropical sage - a treat for hummingbirds, butterflies and gardeners

Tropical sage (Salvia coccinea) is our Flower Friday profile. With its striking red flowers, it is a perennial that no butterfly or hummingbird can resist! Visit our planting page for seed and plant sources, www.flawildflowers.org/planting.php

Known by many names -- scarlet sage, tropical sage, red salvia, blood sage -- this versatile wildflower is a steadfast addition to any wildflower garden. The flower spike consists of bright red blooms, loosely arranged in whorls along a square upright stem. Its triangular leaves grow opposite each other and have relatively long petioles. Tropical sage is self-sowing; its seeds remain in the soil and will germinate throughout the year. In many parts of the state, it will also flower year-round.

Family: Mint (Lamiaceae)
Hardiness: North, Central and South Florida
Growth Habit: Plants grow from 1 to 3 feet tall
Soil: Does well in sandy, well-drained, acidic as well as richer, slightly alkaline soils
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Growing conditions: Does well in sandy, well-drained to rich soils

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