I cannot rave enough about this annual sage called ‘Mulberry Jam.’ We planted several small plants into the gardens at CMBG in mid May. Since that time, we have had a somewhat wet and at times, chilly late spring into early summer. It was just this past week that we finally received hot, dry weather. Mulberry Jam has weathered the storms and continued until the sunshine.
The flower buds start out as a deep reddish purple. As they open, the flowers become a nice, deep pink. Like all salvias, it has a slightly different colored calyx. The calyx keeps the deep reddish purple color. The spikes are upright to around 4′ in height. So far, the plants have been pest and disease resistant. It is listed as being hardy to zone 8 or 9 so we will see how long it lasts on the Maine coast this fall. The plant was originally bred by Betsy Clebsch from her garden near San Francisco.
We have it combined with clear-orange red hot pokers and Verbena bonariensis. Around the base of the plant, there is variegated St. Augustine grass to give it a pop at ground level.
This fall, I hope to lift a few plants and winter them over in the greenhouse as propagation stock. Next year, I want to start the season with even larger plants.
If I have a complaint about Salvia ‘Mulberry Jam,’ it would be that I wish that I would have planted more!
Photos: lambley.com.au, learn2grow.com, rodney eason