Friday, December 17, 2010

Whiter Shade of Pale

With the temperatures back in the 70s, it's beginning to feel a lot like Florida again, and we couldn't be happier! We took advantage of the sunny afternoon to plant a recent new acquisition: a white Tropical Sage (Salvia coccinea).

We're written of our love of salvias before - they're easy to raise and nearly all are butterfly nectar sources. Salvia coccinea is a Florida native, and we have it in red, light pink, and hot pink as well as our new white version.

S. coccinea is moderately frost-tolerant. Ours all made it through the cold temperatures early this week, but it's fairly close to the house and probably received some radiant heat as a result. Fortunately, if it's killed back to the ground, it will generally grow back, and it re-seeds readily. Once you have some established in your garden, you can be sure you'll continue to have it year after year, although perhaps not in exactly the place where you originally planted it!

Although you'll rarely find it in mainstream nurseries, S. coccinea is easy to find at any native plant nursery. Red is the most common, and is very popular with butterflies and even hummingbirds. If you can find the pink and the white, they're lovely additions to any Florida butterfly garden, and we're so pleased to have all three now in My Florida Backyard!


  1. What a lovely coccinea. I've never seen it before. I've grown the red and loved it, and now have a peachy color, that I hope is giving me seeds.

    This normal winter weather that we're having is wonderful. We are supposed to get some much needed rain today, I sure hope so.

    Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

  2. Enjoy this lovely addition! Never seen a white one before!

  3. Great post! It's been awhile since I've grown the white variety of S. coccinea, but they're available from Johnny's Selected Seeds under the cv name 'Snow Nymph' (to go with 'Coral Nymp' the pinky-colored one.) In my experience seeds and seedlings weren't quite as robust as self-sown red ones loose in the garden, but it's an inexpensive way to get several of them if you're a gardener who likes starting seeds, or just can't find the plants anywhere.