Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hot Lips Salvia

Hot Lips salvia is my favorite salvia in the garden. Not only because it has a dirty name (tee-hee!), but because it does so well in my garden at all times of the year. It stays semi-evergreen in the winter and is the first of the salvias to fill out and begin blooming in the spring:

When the weather is cooler, it is bi-colored. Red and white. But in the heat and humidity of the summer, it usually becomes either all red or all white. I don't really know how it decides:

This one can get quite big, quite fast if it receives enough irrigation. Last year mine stayed a decent size due to the drought, but in other years I have had to cut it back to keep it from going too crazy:

The story of how Hot Lips was discovered is quite entertaining in itself. The story goes that Richard Turner, of the Strybing Arboretum, was at a friend's party in Mexico and the housekeeper - Alta Gracia - put a bouquet of flowers on the table containing a salvia none of the snooty-patootie horticulturists had ever seen before. It was brought to San Fransisco, propagated at the Strybing Arboretum and the rest is history. Two cheers for Alta Gracia! Without whom I would not have fantabulous Hot Lips in my garden:


Linda/patchwork said...

I planted one of these. I love it.

Hilary S. said...

Hot Lips is gorgeous! And I am looking everywhere for either seeds or plants. Do you have either? I might even prefer seeds. Thank you!!!!

Hilary S. said...

Love HotLips and looking for seeds or plants everywhere! Can you help? Thanks!! Hilary