(Smokey Jazz Anise-Scented Sage) The dusky black calyxes of Salvia BODACIOUS® 'Smokey Jazz' support large flowers shaped like parrot beaks that are a unique boysenberry color - a hue between red and purple. This is a new cultivar of Salvia guaranitica and the first one that we know of to have such reddish blossoms. Its heavily veined, dense foliage is deep green and smells sweet with a hint of licorice-like anise.
Anise-Scented Sages, which generally have flowers in varying shades of blue and purple, are native to Brazil, northern Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Although most are soft herbaceous perennials, Smokey Jazz is a perennial and subshrub, which means that it combines both soft and woody growth. Like other types of S. guaranitica, Smokey Jazz is an excellent annual where winter temperatures are chilly due to growing rapidly and blooming long. Also, you can store its thick, tuberous dahlia-like roots indoors during winter for spring planting.
Aside from Smokey Jazz's singular flower color, it differs from many types of its species by beginning bloom when smaller and being more compact. It has a tight, rounded habit instead of the usual, loose, open look of these sages that hummingbirds love. Mass it for major drama or let a single plant star in a patio container.
Similar to all S. guaraniticas, Smokey Jazz is heat-tolerant, needs rich, well-drained soil, and loves moisture but can get by with average watering. For best growth, plant it in a location providing full sun to partial shade.
Like Salvia BODACIOUS 'Rhythm and Blues', Salvia BODACIOUS 'Smokey Jazz' was introduced by and is a product of the plant development program at Flowers by the Sea Farm and Online Nursery. Together, they are excellent companions in a sage garden. Salvia BODACIOUS 'Smokey Jazz' will become available at retail nurseries in the U.S., the UK, and Europe in 2021. All of us at FBTS, including our resident Anna's Hummingbirds, are buzzing about it.
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