The bi-coloured flowers of this sage add late-season interest to the Scented Garden.
The cosmopolitan genus Salvia is invaluable for the gardener, comprising some 900 species of annuals, biennials, perennials and shrubs, many of which have ornamental value. Members of the genus usually show traits typical of the Lamiaceae (mint family) to which it belongs: aromatic foliage, square stems and two-lipped flowers. A native of Central America and Mexico, S. leucantha (Mexican bush sage) is a tender subshrub whose arching stems can reach 1m in length. The stems and the leaves are soft and downy, as are the racemes of bell-shaped, mauve and white flowers, which emerge in midsummer and persist until the first frost. Requiring a well-drained, sunny position, this species should be given the protection of a greenhouse over winter.