Salvia splendens ‘Blaze of Fire’ | ‘Red Salvia’, ‘Scarlet Sage’, ‘Tropical Sage’ | 25 seeds
Commercially available in a bewildering array of richly-coloured cultivars (including various dwarf forms), Salvia splendens is an herbaceous plant from Brazil. The variety offered here is the glorious ‘Blaze of Fire’, an absolutely amazing scarlet-flowered form.
The species as a whole is known by several common names, including ‘Red Sage’, ‘Red Salvia’, ‘Scarlet Sage’, ‘Scarlet Salvia’ and ‘Tropical Sage’. A tender perennial which naturally prefers a warm, high-humidity habitat – ideally at an altitude range of two thousand to three thousand metres – where it grows to several metres in height. Blooms appear between mid-summer and mid-autumn, which prove greatly attractive to bees, birds, butterflies.
While this larger original native type is fairly rarely cultivated at present, the various cultivars (not all with the typical red flowers) are a popular component of many private and public gardens around the world. One example of this is that Salvia splendens ‘Van-Houttei’ earned the (British) Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
Happily, Salvia splendens is fairly easy to raise from seed (unlike some related species, such as the rarely germinating and even more rarely seed-producing Salvia divinorum, the ‘Diviner’s Sage’). Grow in USDA Hardiness Zone 8-11, in full sun and mildly acidic to mildly alkaline soil. Space plants at least thirty centimetres apart and water regularly in average amounts. Once mature plants are established, this species may be propagated via stem cuttings.
All the seed sold by Arkham’s Botanical was freshly and ethically sourced in 2018-2019