This striking Salvia is one of several species which can be seen in the Glasshouse Bays.
Belonging to the Lamiaceae, or mint family, the genus Salvia occurs in temperate and tropical regions of the world. It contains annuals, biennials, perennials and shrubs, which grow in dry meadows, rocky areas, scrub, light woodland and moist grassland. All have two-lipped flowers, with the upper lip being erect and hooded, and the lower being two-lobed and spreading, and they frequently have hairy, aromatic foliage. Many make a valuable addition to the Garden, whether it be for their foliage, as with the familiar sage, Salvia officinalis, or for their flowers, as with the herbaceous perennial Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’. This one, S. darcyi, is a frost-tender species from the eastern Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico, where it grows at altitudes of up to 3,000m. It has slender racemes of coral-red flowers, and can reach 120cm in height, and enjoys a sunny position in well-drained soil.