Salvia Corrugata is a perennial shrub native to Columbia, Peru, and Ecuador, growing at 8000–9800 ft elevation. It was brought into horticulture about 2000 as a result of a collecting trip to South America in 1988. All the plants in cultivation today are from six seeds that germinated from that trip.
Salvia Corrugata reaches 9 ft in its native habitat, and 5–6 ft in cultivation. It has egg-shaped deeply corrugated evergreen leaves that are 4.5 in by 1.5 in, dark green on the top surface, and light veining with pale tan-coloured fine hairs underneath. The brilliant purple-blue flowers are 1 in long, with a small dark purple and green calyx. The flowers grow in congested whorls, with 6–12 flowers on each 3–4 in inflorescence. Our plant comes from a lady gardener in Faversham, she grows it in a pot in poor soil which is very free draining and struggles to contain it. Over the years she has grown it she has the following advice – that it will tolerate a frost (especially in a pot) but will not tolerate cold wet soil so for this reason we recommend that you treat this giant salvia with “tough love” – all of our pollinators love this plant, cuttings are very successful from late spring and like all of our salvia it seems to go on and on throughout the summer until the frosts.