Salvia microphylla ‘Christine’s Surprise’ is an evergreen perennial growing from 60cm to 1 meter high, with a similar width. It has an upright and strong growth habit with spreading roots. The green stems have the distinctive ‘microphylla’ stripe along the stem and the small cordate shaped leaves are of a similar colour. The tall stem tips change to a dark pink, as do the bracts, once the long period of flowering begins. Cerise pink blooms with large lobes appear in abundance, from summer to autumn.
Salvia ‘Christine’s Surprise’ is of Mexican origin and does well in temperate to sub-tropical climates. It is not cold or drought tolerant and will probably not do well in coastal areas unless the soil is enriched and shelter from wind provided. Generally it prefers part shade to full sun, regular water and average well drained soils. There is limited information on this salvia, but it is likely to have been developed or discovered in connection with Christine Yeo, a British salvia expert. The salvia called Christine Yeo, has a purple flower and is distinct from ‘Christine’s Surprise.’
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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