Amistad Salvia, Salvia guaranitica
Every gardener is familiar with the salvia or sage family, especially if you have deer. Deer leave salvias alone, probably because it has a pungent aroma. Add to that, they are a cinch to grow, requiring little care, bloom for weeks on end, and are drought tolerant. What’s not to love?
Salvia madrensis, another salvia that I am in love with!!
Living here in the mid-Atlantic region in a zone 7a, there are two types of salvias. Tender perennials, meaning they are treated like annuals, and hardy salvias, which survive and thrive with our winters that can dip below 0 degrees.
Salvia Eveline, a hardy salvia that blooms all summer long for me
The tender salvias are always a huge hit in mid to late summer, when they come into their own, until frost blackens them. Amistad is a good example of a tender perennial, that might make it through a mild winter here, like Black and Blue Salvia does for me. Black and Blue, which is rated to survive only to zone 8 has returned for years in my 7a garden.
Map of hardiness zones
Young plant of Salvia Amistad
I first saw Amistad in San Francisco as part of the Sunset Western Garden Collection last summer and was stunned at how big and bushy it was. Yes, I know that San Francisco is not even near my hardiness zone, but I loved the color and floriferous of the plant. And what color!!… the most intense velvety indigo blue!
Mexican Sage, leucantha, which is a tender perennial
Developed by Plant Development Services Inc., who introduced the ‘Encore’ Azaleas to the world, Amistad has dark purple flowers with a nearly black calyx, and blooms constantly from early spring until frost and makes a dazzling display in any garden in sun or partial shade.. Amistad has a fuller habit then other types, not as rangy as some salvias. Flowers are a magnet for butterflies and hummingbirds.
Salvia Amistad flower
Plant Delights of Raleigh, North Carolina, describes Amistad in their catalog – “Salvia ‘Amistad’ is the latest and greatest perennial salvia. Discovered by Argentine salvia expert Rolando Uria in a garden bed, Salvia ‘Amistad’ first made its way to England where plantsman Rod Richards popularized it, and it has finally reached US shores. This floriferous Salvia guaranitica hybrid makes a huge 3.5′ tall x 7′ wide clump in one season…much wider and longer flowering than its predecessor, Salvia ‘Purple Majesty’ . So far, we have seen no sign of the stoloniferous trait of the Salvia guaranitica parent. The tops of the stalks are adorned with masses of dark purple flowers, each held in a lovely black calyx from June through frost…a hummingbird delight! Our plants of Salvia ‘Amistad’ have only been to 18F so far, but they returned fine at those temperatures”. – See more at: http://www.plantdelights.com/Salvia-Amistad/Buy-Amistad-Salvia-for-sale/purple-salvia
Did I read that right, clumps of 7 feet wide?? I am willing to try it but doubt that it will make 7 feet in my garden. Now is the time to add this beauty to your garden beds or containers. Stay tuned….
Amistad Salvia clump