A worthy salvia with interesting deeply veined, evergreen leaves, dark and slightly crinkly, not unlike a Viburnum rhytidophyllum.
Found in deepest Peru at high altitudes of 9000 ft, it reminds me of childhood stories of the ever cuddly Paddington bear and marmalade sandwiches.
It was first introduced by seed collected in 1988 by plant hunters Jim and Jenny Archibald, who saw its garden merits and wanted it for their specialist seed nursery business, based in west Wales. After much trial, six seedlings were raised from these seeds and are probably the source of all the plants available in UK today.
I love the healthy sheen of its foliage and its tidy compact form, reliably growing to 1.5 to 2 m high.
Deep sultry purple blue flowers appear in late Summer and continue throughout the autumn. It provides a great container plant in front of the house during this time of year.
Hardy to -5 C, it grows well here in Pembrokeshire on a free draining soil with shelter from the wind.
If your conditions are not suitable, it is best to take cuttings in the autumn or if possible move the plant under cover for the winter and re position outside in the spring in a sunny spot.