Salvia is a perennial herbaceous plant, cultivated as an annual. It is also called “fire” because of the arrangement and crimson color of its flowers. It belongs to the Labiatae family. The genus Salvia includes about 500 species of plants. Among them is the Mediterranean aromatic sage S. officinalis. Many varieties and hybrids have been created including Salvia x superba with its impressive purple-blue flowers. Salvia is native to Brazil and remains in bloom throughout summer and fall. Its decorative value is due to the rich flowering but also to the contrast created by the red flowers with the lively green foliage. It is planted in groups in rock gardens, lawns, flower beds and plant containers, alone or in combination with other annual plants. The combination of salvia and yellow amber is excellent!
It is a resistant plant without many requirements. It grows best in sandy loam soils, rich in organic matter and with good drainage. Salvia is not cold hardy and freezes at temperatures below 5°C. For this reason, in regions with low temperatures, it is preferable to place it in sunny places. On the contrary, in very hot areas it needs to be protected in semi-shady places, because the intense sun burns the foliage and fades the color of the flowers. It is one of the plants that needs regular watering to grow, stay healthy and give lots of flowers. In order for the plant to branch out and produce more flowers, it is necessary to top it when it reaches a height of 10 cm. The plant has an upright growth with branched stems. There are tall varieties with a height of 60-90 cm, medium ones with a height of 40-60 cm and dwarf varieties with a height of 20-30 cm. The diameter of the plant ranges from 30-60 cm. The leaves have a vivid green color, strong ribs and a heart-shaped shape. They have a jagged circumference and grow opposite each other on the stem. The flowers are tubular in shape, no longer than 2-4 cm and their color is bright red.
They appear many together in showy inflorescences called “ears”, 15-20 cm long and resembling flames. Varieties with white, yellow, pink, orange and purple flowers have also been created. Although the flowers do not last long on the plant, the salvia remains in bloom from June to November and in southern Greece until December.