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Salvia karwinskii

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This is how we pack and send your Herb Plants to all states except TAS & WA

You will receive
- 1 Salvia Karwinskii Herb Plant in a 50 X 75mm tube - General growing instructions

All of our Herb Plants are grown organically with certified organic potting mixes and fertilizers

Salvia Karwinskii
Botanical Name: Salvia karwinskii

Salvia karwinskii is an evergreen perennial and a very tall growing sage of up to 2 meters and over 1 meter wide. It has long branching canes that may arch over, especially when topped with racemes of flowers during the winter months. The two lipped flowers are variable but range from scarlet red, rose red, red brick and coral pink. The flowers are about 2.5 cm long and the deep red calyx is 1.3 cm long.

The leaves are large at about 14 cm long and are covered in fine grey hairs, along with the stems and petioles. This gives an overall grey and felt like appearance to the plant. There are cream coloured hairs and veins on the underside of the plant. The leaves are slightly aromatic.

Karwinskii’s Sage is native to the moist mountain areas of Mexico and Central America, including regions of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. It is found in oak or pine forests at altitudes of 1200-2000 meters and may flower in mid-winter, when temperatures are near freezing. This salvia was named for the German botanist, Baron WIlheim Freidrich Karwinski von Karvin, who explored Mexico in the early 19th century. It is known to be a honey producing plant in the local regions and is a good bee and bird attractant when planted in Australian gardens.

Growing Conditions

Karwinskii’s Sage prefers full sun, but can take part shade reminiscent of a woodland setting. Moist, enriched soil is preferred as this is similar to that found in the native range for the plant. However, once established it is quite drought resistant. The flowering period is May to November in Australia, with a variety of seasons (including summer) reported elsewhere in the world. It may be somewhat temperature dependent, so a cool summer is comparable to some Australian winters.

This salvia may grow up to 2.5 meters tall in the wild, but as noted above it is shorter in most gardens. It is possible that individual garden conditions will result in an even shorter plant. Due to the size this salvia can reach, it is useful to plant in a protected spot where both wind and chill factors are minimised. Naturally, it is well suited for use as a good screening plant. To promote a more compact growth habit prune the branch tips after or during flowering months on occasion. This may also promote more upright growth. At the end of the flowering season, it is possible to prune the plant down to the new growth nodes.

Some writers state that the plant is very rugged and quite tolerant of cold conditions, while others indicate poor tolerance for cool conditions. It is useful to refer to the plant’s native climate and acknowledge that given its ability to flower over cold winters, it should be able to survive any cooler Australian regions. In some regions of the world it is reported that Salvia karwinskii is deciduous, so even with frosts it has the capacity to survive and return in spring.

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.

All information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. Please seek professional advice before commencing any treatment.


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