Salvia involucrata “Ripe Raspberry’ is a shrubby perennial reaching up to 1.2 – 1.5 meters in ideal conditions. It has textured mid green coloured leaves, which are an elongated heart shape with a more rounded tip. It has small hairs on the surface which give a slightly rough texture. The flowers are a deep and rich cerise pink colour. The tubular corolla is a slightly darker colour than the very edge of the lower lobes and the throat is a pale white. The flowers stems and bracts are quite a dark rich crimson-brown colour and the bracts are quite prominent. The long flowering period is from late autumn through winter and into summer.
The Mexican parent Salvia involucrata is named for the prominent bracts and may also be called Rose Leaf Sage. Salvia ‘Ripe Raspberry’ is a dwarf form of this plant, along with ‘Mulberry Jam’ and ‘Joan’. They are often confused, but ‘Ripe Raspberry’ has much darker flowers and they truly are reminiscent of raspberries. When seen planted together it is clear that ‘Ripe Raspberry’ has much darker toning than the others, from leaves to bracts and flower stems.
Salvia involucrata ‘Ripe Raspberry’ prefers full sun to part shade and free draining soil. It has average water requirements and should be tolerant off a variety of soils. It can tolerate some frost, but not very cold winters. Once established this salvia can form a nice hardy clump but it should not spread as much as the parent plant.
The salvia family has over 900 members with an extensive history as culinary, medicinal and ornamental plants. Ornamental salvias have become collectors items, as gardeners try to find a place in their garden for each and every one. There are salvias that will suit every type of soil and climate. More information on the Salvia genus and Common Sage (Salvia officinalis) may be found on our Common Sage page.
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