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Salvia coccinea 'Lady in Red'

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Salvia coccinea 'Lady in Red'

Salvia coccinea 'Lady in Red'

Photo: © Marie Iannotti (2008) licensed to About.com, Inc.

When I was a kid, my mother always had red salvia (Scarlet Sage) in the garden and we liked to pull the the flowers apart and eat the sweet drop of nectar inside. The humming birds must have hated us. I never thought the flowers were particularly attractive, probably because I took them for granted. You can still find Scarlet Sage in garden centers, but there are more salvia choices these days. One of my favorites is Salvia coccinea 'Lady in Red'. The flowers are less dense on the stem and give it a more airy appearance. The plants bush out better than Scarlet Sage and are also a bit taller, reaching about a foot and a half in height. Plus, you can save the seed for next year. I plant 'Lady in Red' in my vegetable garden to attract insects and just because it's so pretty.

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