Salvia guaranitica

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Salvia guaranitica

Anise Sage
Salvia guaranitica HabitusLeavesFlowers BotGardBln0906.JPG
Binomial: Salvia guarnitica
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Light requirements: Full sun to light shade
Water requirements: Maintain adequate moisture to prevent wilting.
Soil requirements: Well-drained, deep soils
USDA Hardiness Zone: 8-10, to zone 6 for some cultivars.
Pest issues: rare
Disease issues: rare
Bloom season: Midsummer to freeze
Weediness: Aggressive spreader
Pollination: Insects, attracts hummingbirds
Root: Large tubers
Toxicity and edibility: Edible

Salvia guaranitica (Anise-scented sage or Hummingbird sage) is a species of sage native to South America, including Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina.

Description[edit]

It is a perennial or subshrub growing 1-3 m tall. The leaves are ovate, 4-13 cm long, mint green, and anise-scented when crushed. The inflorescences are up to 25 cm long, with each flower 3-5 cm long in varying shades of blue, with a dark basal calyx 10-12 mm long. Flowering begins in mid summer and continues through late autumn.

Salvia guaranitica is only a perennial in USDA Zones 7 to 10, but can be perennial in cooler climates, if planted in sunny microclimate.

Growing conditions[edit]

Deep, well-drained soils with adequate irrigation during drought periods. Water needs are low. In colder climates, the plant should be sited against a building or masonry.

Varieties[edit]

Numerous cultivars have been selected, including:

  • 'Argentine Skies' (pale blue flowers)
  • 'Black and Blue' (very dark violet blue calyx)
  • 'Blue Enigma' (green calyx and blue flowers
  • 'Blue Ensign' (large blue flowers)
  • 'Purple Splendor' (large purple flowers)

Uses[edit]

Salvia guaranitica is a popular ornamental plant in mild areas where the temperature does not fall below −12 °C. It is most often planted in order to attract hummingbirds.

Maintenance[edit]

Prune to the ground in early spring, before new stems grow. Can be sheared to encourage bushiness. Staking is sometimes necessary. Excellent container plant.

Propagation[edit]

Division or stem cuttings. In colder climates, it can be dug in early autumn and kept indoors either in a pot or in vermiculite for dormant storage. It's hardiness can be greatly extended if planted against a building or masonry to maintain higher winter soil temperatures.

Pests and diseases[edit]

See Salvia for a list of pests and diseases affecting the genus Salvia.

References[edit]

  • Christopher Brickell and Judith D. Zuk (1997). The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. DK Publishing. pp. 929. 
  • Staff of the L. H. Bailey Hortorium (1976). Hortus Third: A Concise Dictionary of Plants Cultivated in the United States and Canada. Cornell University Press. pp. 999. 
  • A Book of Salvias: Sages for Every Garden, Betsy Clebsch, page 90-92