It's no secret that we have a bit of a salvia obsession in My Florida Backyard. Butterflies just love it, and so do we. I've become a collector, in fact, unable to pass up a new salvia when I see it. A few weeks ago, at the USF Botanical Garden Spring Plant Sale, I picked up a new one I'd never seen before: Salvia vanhouttei.
This salvia is native to Brazil, and is actually a variety of Salvia splendens, which I'm not normally fond of because it has no nectar value. However, this variety seems to be a little less "tamed" than nursery stock, and reviews on the web note that it's attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. The color is just beautiful, so it seemed to be worth a try.
Like many kinds of salvia, it's recommended for full sun, but since zone 9 is the high end of its range, it's more likely to benefit from some afternoon shade. So far it's thriving along with the pineapple sage, salvia farinacea, and meadow sage that are in the same bed. It's a little slice of butterfly heaven, right in My Florida Backyard.