Strangelove. That's How My Love Goes. - Salvia africana-lutea

 |Salvia africana-lutea floral profile|

|Salvia africana-lutea floral profile|

Here's something you don't see too often.  A plant that produces flowers that look like burnt sienna toucans.  Recently, I took a little plant safari and came across this very unique creature.  Strangely beautiful and a bit mysterious.  May I present, Salvia africana-lutea also known as Beach Sage, Dune Sage, or Golden Sage.  Salvia africana-lutea comes to us from the botanically rich realm of South Africa.  This is not your typical salvia.  It's something special.  When I found this beauty in bloom it was dripping with nectar...lots of nectar... and the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds were gettin' bizzay!  Such a beautiful sight to see!

 |Salvia africana-lutea details|

|Salvia africana-lutea details|

Salvia africana-lutea is an evergreen shrub that can grow about 3 feet tall and wide. It's covered in rounded, aromatic grey-green foliage that when picked and steeped with hot water make an excellent tea for coughs and colds.  In spring, cashew-like yellowish flower buds begin to form and bloom.  As the flowers age, they mellow into a rich, warm, deep sienna color.  It reminds me of butterscotch caramel.  Flowering carries on through summer.  As the flowers fade and fall, the trumpet-shaped calyx at their base remains on the stem providing a continued coolness factor.  Salvia africana-lutea like full sun, well-draining, compost fed soil, regular water until established, and is hardy down to about 20 degrees fahrenheit/-6 degrees celsius. It's a tough customer that does well in coastal plantings, attracts nectar lovin' wildlife, repels deer, and is both drought and heat tolerant. I seriously have a strange love for this unusually striking salvia outlier.  It's got that certain je ne sais quoi that's got me as curious as a cat and craving the cool.  Viva La Strange!