“Coral Nymph” Pink Sage
This beautiful flower was one of the first things I ever planted in my garden and I couldn’t remember its name.
At first I thought it was some kind of skullcap because I didn’t know anything about plants when I bought it. It kept popping up occasionally in early summer, in the same places where I’d sown Texas Red Sage (Salvia coccinea) seeds. Is this color a naturally-occurring variety of red sage? I don’t know, but it continues to reseed and looks beautiful mingled with its red sisters.
Both can get quite rangy by the end of the summer, are the same height (1 1/2 to 2 feet) and have similar leaves and both like growing in the same dappled shade conditions. Salvia coccinea is something of a tender perennial; in our milder winters it will survive with some water and perhaps die back a bit. My original pink sage plants (picture above) were almost four years old and remained green in winter before a frost in 2010 really bit them.
At the end of our horrible summer of 2009, I thought the pink salvia was a goner to the heat and drought. My two plants were also planted too far into the bed so got overwhelmed by taller plants. So I replanted them and cut them back severely in the fall. They seemed to like the move as well as the additional water they got from the drip system and this year they bloomed their hearts out all summer long, one of the few flowers to do so.