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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’: New from Australia

Posted by Graham Rice on 10 Sep 2011 at 08:24 PM

Savia,Wendy's Wish,new. Image ©PlantHavenThere are about nine hundred species of salvias around the world, from annuals to perennials to shrubs. So there’s are plenty of opportunities to create interesting new hybrids. And that’s exactly what Australian gardener Wendy Smith did back in 2005 when created this long flowering and drought tolerant new salvia, ‘Wendy’s Wish’.

This is a borderline hardy salvia, probably best grown as a tender perennial plant in mixed borders and large containers. Get your order in now for delivery next spring, or buy one now and keep in protected from frost through winter.

Reaching about 3-4ft/90cm-1.2m in height and bushing out nicely, reddish stems carry long magenta pink flowers each bursting out of a tawny to pink calyx. With between thirty five and sixty five of these vivid flowers on each tem over a long period, this is a not a plant for the faint-hearted who only grow flowers in delicate pastel shades. The flowers have a citrus scent but, strangely, not the foliage.

‘Wendy’s Wish’ arose as a seedling amongst plants of Salvia buchananii and what was said to be Salvia chiapensis ‘Purple Majesty’ growing in Wendy Smith’s Australian garden. Salvia buchananii is familiar to many gardeners and is thought to originate in Mexico though is not known in the wild. Salvia chiapensis ‘Purple Majesty’ is something of a mystery – the plant known as ‘Purple Majesty’ is not a variety of S. chiapensis but is itself a hybrid.

However, setting that aside, this is a dense, bushy, and prolific new salvia flowering from summer through to the frosts.

You can order Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’ from these RHS Plant Finder nurseries.

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