One of the most exotic of the Salvia family. The inflorescence - and there can be up to a dozen on a single plant - is a narrow spire about 70cm tall. The many small flowers are held close to the stem, and are a brick red, similar to that of the scarlet pimpernel. But that is only half the story - the calyces of each flower and the flower stem themselves are an extraordinary dark crimson. The combination of colours manages to look dramatic but not garish. It is a tender plant so needs the protection of a greenhouse.