Salvia coccinea (Photo: Forest & Kim Starr)
Salvia coccinea Buc'hoz ex Etl.
Syn. Fl. 21:368. 1886
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. Its specific name, coccinea, means "scarlet-dyed" in Latin, referring to its flowers. They are tubular, bright red, about 1.25 in (3.2 cm) long and pollinated by hummingbirds and butterflies.
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.
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.
Source: Wikispecies, Wikipedia: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License