Salvia (sage) ‘Amistad’ is a member of the Lamiaceae family that you can see growing in the Roundabout Border in the Parks, near the South Lodge. A bushy perennial plant, it has corrugated bright green leaves with pointed ends, and grows to around 1.2 metres tall. It has aromatic foliage and produces a profusion of large, deep purple flowers with black calyces (the outer parts of the flower) from early summer right through to the first frosts.
The plant’s hardiness is variable, so it doesn’t always do well over the winter. It will flourish in a sunny, sheltered sport with most but well-drained soil; in poorer soils an annual mulch of good-quality compost will help. Helpfully for the current weather, it tolerates drought. The plant needs very little attention; you can dead head it once the flowers fade to prolong the flowering period. Slugs and snails can occasionally be a problem. This is a versatile plant that fits well with cottage-style plantings or as part of a Mediterranean garden. Propagate with softwood cuttings in spring or early summer; for more information see the RHS website.