Salvia involucrata x karwinski Winter Lipstick

This is a big shrub, wide as well as tall (to 3 m or more), so it needs plenty of space as well as some support from nearby shrubs. It has spires of big pinkish-red flowers held in dark calyces on arching branches, and it blooms from May until October. It is a very cheering sight in the winter garden. The flowers are a perfect match for the leaves of Iresine herbstii 'Brilliantissima', a fantastic foliage plant for mild gardens. The flowers also look good with purple or blue flowers such as blue or purple salvias or Tibouchina. This salvia attracts the Eastern spinebill birds, which are like a native form of hummingbirds that migrate to Sydney in winter. It should be hard-pruned in summer as well as after flowering to gain some control over its size. Its big leaves provide a good backdrop for other plants in summer. It is sometimes called 'Romantic Rose'.

Postscript: eventually I removed my specimen of this plant, as it took up too much room where it was and needed so much pruning. I did take a cutting, so may find a better spot for to replant it. I still think it is beautiful for gardens where there is plenty of room.

Flowers in May, June, July, August, September, October.

 Out now in my Sydney Garden.

 

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