Plant of the week - Salvia ‘Amistad’

Date posted: 17 April 2015

Salvia is the largest genus in the mint family (Lamiaceae) with an estimated 900 species and many more cultivars and hybrids.

You’ll find them all over the world, but their greatest diversity is in South America, Mexico, the United States and Central America. Many species also occur in South Africa, Asia and the Mediterranean region.

Over the past few years many Salvias have been planted, especially in Mount Lofty Botanic Garden. In fact, there is currently a lovely display at the top car-park.

New Salvias are propagated and grown each year at the Nursery and then taken to be planted out. An outstanding variety that will be planted this year is Salvia ‘Amistad’ which is our plant of the week.

This cultivar was discovered in Argentina by Salvia expert Rolando Uria, the cultivar name means friendship in Spanish. The parentage of the cultivar is unknown but is thought to be a cultivar or hybrid of Salvia guarantica, a South American species. This plant is superior in many attributes;

  • A longer flowering period (it can flower 6-9 months of the year)
  • A more compact, bushy growth
  • It does not possess the suckering nature of Salvia guarantica

The nursery has been evaluating the plant over the last 12 months and we feel that it is one of the best new Salvia introductions we have observed with Australian honeyeaters visiting the plants regularly and spend most of the day.

The Salvia doesn’t exhibit any pest or disease issues and will be a wonderful introduction to our gardens. You will also find it in Adelaide Botanic Garden’s Sunken Garden.