Salvia coccinea

Salvia coccinea (Photo: Forest & Kim Starr)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Magnoliophyta
Classis: Magnoliopsida
Ordo: Lamiales
Familia: Lamiaceae
Subfamilia: Nepetoideae
Tribus: Mentheae
Genus: Salvia
Species: Salvia coccinea
Varieties: S. coccinea var. pseudococcinea

Name

Salvia coccinea Buc'hoz ex Etl.

Vernacular
English: Red sage
Kūki'Āirani: tītānia
lea faka-Tonga: teʻekosi

Reference

Syn. Fl. 21:368. 1886

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Salvia coccinea, commonly known as Texas sage, scarlet sage, tropical sage, or blood sage, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is native to the Southeastern United States, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and northern Southern America (Colombia, Peru, and Brazil), but is widely cultivated as an ornamental.[1] Its specific name, coccinea, means "scarlet-dyed" in Latin, referring to its flowers.[2] They are tubular, bright red, about 1.25 in (3.2 cm) long[3] and pollinated by hummingbirds and butterflies.[4]

Cultivation

In the garden, the species is considered frost-tender and usually grown as an annual. In frost-free climates, flowers may be produced as early as February and continue through December. In other areas, flowering begins as days lengthen and continue until first frost in fall. While considered frost tender, light freezes will merely kill foliage, it takes a freeze below 20 degrees F. to kill them roots and all.

Plants grow best with plenty of sun and rich, well-drained soils. A wide selection of cultivars are available, including 'Lady in Red' (densely packed spikes of scarlet flowers with whitish bracts), 'Coral Nymph' (bicolored salmon pink and white flowers), and 'Snow Nymph' (white flowers).

Hummingbirds appear to favor this species over Salvia greggii, the autumn sage.

References

1. ^ a b "Salvia coccinea Buc'hoz ex Etl.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 1995-04-07. http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?32923. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
2. ^ Holloway, Joel Ellis; Amanda Neill (2005). A Dictionary of Common Wildflowers of Texas & the Southern Great Plains. TCU Press. p. 135. ISBN 9780875653099. http://books.google.com/books?id=agbm4S1eCQsC&.
3. ^ Nelson, Gil (2005). East Gulf Coastal Plain Wildflowers. Globe Pequot. p. 212. ISBN 9780762727186.
4. ^ "#507 Salvia coccinea". Floridata. http://www.floridata.com/ref/S/salv_coc.cfm. Retrieved 2010-01-29.

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