For many years Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ has provided a colourful and intriguing – and sometimes frustrating – display of bicoloured scarlet and white flowers. Dazzling at their best, with changing weather conditions the colouring in the flowers drifts to completely scarlet and completely white plus the sparkling bicoloured form – sometimes with all three versions open on the plant at the same time.
Earlier this year a pink and white bicoloured variety, Pink Lips (‘Jeremy’), appeared but doesn’t seem to have caught on in the same way. Now we have ‘Amethyst Lips’, a new bicoloured variety with flowers in deep purple and white.
Reaching about 1m high and a little less in width, this bushy twiggy salvia flowers from June to August but in sheltered situations should, like ‘Hot Lips’, flower for much longer.
Nigel Judd of Genesis Plant Marketing, representing the breeder, told me about the plant. “Salvia greggii ‘Amethyst Lips’ has been developed by a keen amateur breeder in Norfolk who has been working with salvia as a hobby for a number of years.
“The performance of the variety is similar to ‘Hot Lips’ in terms of the colour change from purple to bicolour and then back to purple.
“Outdoor trial beds on two sites in north Norfolk survived the full on blast of the 'Beast from the East' last winter and consequently went on to come through the more recent dry hot condition with good results - so a pretty robust plant.”
The same breeder has another colour on the way, as well as three more bicoloured salvias with a different flower form.
You can order plants of Salvia ‘Amethyst Lips’ from Crocus.
Please note, the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author, which are not necessarily those of the RHS.