Salvia elegans ‘Honey Melon’

18 Nov

Salvia elegans 'Honey Melon' (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Salvia elegans ‘Honey Melon’ (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Late summer to autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 1m

Eventual Spread: 1m

Hardiness: 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b

Family: Lamiaceae

Salvia elegans ‘Honey Melon’ is a deciduous perennial sub shrub with a clump forming habit. Its mid green leaves are ovate with serrulate margins, up to 5cm long and 3cm broad. Its leaves emit an anise scent when crushed. Its fragrant red flowers are tubular, 5cm long and appear on leafy terminal spikes. Its roots produce underground runners which may aids its slow spread.

Salvia elegans 'Honey Melon' Flower (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Salvia elegans ‘Honey Melon’ Flower (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

The species Salvia elegans, commonly known as Pineapple Sage or Tangerine Sage, is native to Mexico and Guatemala. In its native habitat it grows in mountainous mixed forest.

The etymological root of the binomial name Salvia is derived from the Latin salvare, meaning to ‘heal’, in reference to the use of Salvia vulgaris as a medicinal plant. Elegans is from the Latin meaning ‘elegant’.

The landscape architect may find Salvia elegans ‘Honey Melon’ useful as part of a herbaceous planting scheme, benefiting from the support of other plants to keep a tidy, upright appearance.

Salvia elegans 'Honey Melon' Leaf (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Salvia elegans ‘Honey Melon’ Leaf (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically,  Salvia elegans ‘Honey Melon’ flowers are attractive to some pollinating insects and hummingbirds.

Salvia elegans ‘Honey Melon’ prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. This plant dislikes wet soils.

Salvia elegans ‘Honey Melon’ requires little maintenance. Large clumps may be divided in spring.

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Landscape Architecture

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