Brazilian Blue Sage

The Janesville School District rarely cancels school but did so today due to some severely cold temperatures which will continue through tomorrow.  We should see a “warm up” later in the week but needless to say, the sub zero wind chill temperatures kept all of us inside today.  Last week the gang, in anticipation of this weather, accumulated lots of lights and cords from the Holiday Light Show (HLS) to process during these cold days.  Again, Larry H. and Big John led the “processing team” of Alan, Marv and Terry.  Dick H. was in for a bit as was Rollie.  Vern and Jim continued on some carpentry projects with help from Gene who also did more bench sanding.  Bill O. was in later in the day to check over some equipment.  Dr. Gredler came in for some painting and we also saw Bev, Gary and many others today.
This blog is dedicated to one of the best plants to include in your garden to attract hummingbirds.  The Brazilian sage (Salvia guaranitica) is an excellent hummingbird magnet and with our Hummingbird Haven theme in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children’s Garden this year, we have ordered  hundreds of this plant.  Also called sapphire sage and anise-scented sage (mild foliage scent), this native of Southeast Brazil, Paraguay and Northern Argentina might reach heights close to 6′ tall in its native range.  In our gardens, we usually see this annual get 3-4′.  One of the commonly available varieties is ‘Black and Blue’ which has long been a favorite.  However, the top image and one below is a new selection called ‘Black & Bloom’ which is near identical (and indistinguishable from ‘Black & Blue’ in my mind).  Attracting bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, both selections are heavy on nectar and they get their respective variety names from the black stems and calyces that form behind the flower petals.  The trumpet-shaped blooms are just calling out to hummingbirds (see photos further below, taken at the gardens by Santos McGill).  Position these in full sun in decent soils.  Don’t let them dry out, consider fertilization every three weeks and deadhead (snip off) spent bloom stalks to encourage more blooms.  Seek this salvia out!
 Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Bloom’ (above and top photo)
 Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’
 Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’ with visitors (above and four below) – Photos from Santos McGill

 

 

 

 

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