Salvia leucantha ‘Red Harry’
Salvia leucantha ‘Red Harry’ is a jewel.
Firstly because its mass of deep ruby red flowers with white lips, look like they are made from velvet.
Secondly because of a very late flowering season.
So Salvia leucantha ‘Red Harry’ begins to glow with rich ruby colour just when everything else is exhausted and finished in late summer. Then he continues to blaze all the way into winter.
(Please see “Growing” section below for details, and where, how to grow)
Flowers of ruby red velvet well into winter
An established clump bears literally hundreds of those velvety flower stems so late in the gardening year.
The foliage is attractively velvety in texture too.
Tough, hardy and drought resistant
The “Mexican Sage”s as a family are renowned for being tough customers, and ‘Red Harry’ is no exception.
So it is hardy in hot and dry conditions, and noted for being a water-wise, drought hardy plant.
‘Red Harry’ thrives in Full Sun, though he can also tolerate some Shade as long as he is kept on the dry side.
Mexican Sages tolerate sandy soils and wind-blown sites well, so they often used in seaside plantings
Good news too for our sub-tropical gardeners – Mexican Sages also tolerate summer humidity well.
Growing: Salvia leucantha ‘Red Harry’:
– Height with flowers: 100cm approx.
– Width: Forms a dense clump to a diameter of 70cm approx.
– Position: Full Sun, but will also tolerate Partial Shade if well drained and not damp. Suits coastal gardens. Tough foliage tolerates wind-blown sites well. Once established Salvia leucantha copes well with dry and hot periods, as well as summer humidity.
– Soil: Well drained. Very adaptable to a wide range of soil types. Copes well with lime, and sandy or poorer soils, as well as heavier soils. Tolerates soils on both the acid or alkaline lime side of neutral, so not fussy about pH.
– Frost: Very frost hardy to approximately -10C. If cut back by hard frost Salvia leucantha will re-shoot from the base in spring. Does particularly well where there is a little overhead cover, and can cope with a little dry shade.
– Growth: Hardy perennial. Thickly clumping but in no way invasive.
– Beneficial to wildlife: Honey eating birds, bees, butterflies and other useful pollinators, find the late flowering season over autumn and into winter a huge boost. Food come for them abundantly at a time of the year when little else flowers.
– Aromatic foliage: Leaves are pleasantly aromatic and have an attractive velvety texture.
– Care: Low maintenance. An annual shear to the ground in late winter is all that is required.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: Foliage is generally unpalatable to rabbits and deer, because of the aromatic oils and velvety texture.
– Origin: Native to conifer forests in subtropical central and eastern Mexico, and other parts of Central America.