Salvia viscosa is relatively new to cultivation only appearing in this country in the 1990’s, although it was first identified in the late 18th century. The reason for this delay is a complete mystery as it has many fine features, none more so than its delicate beauty. This plant was grown from seed, they popped up like mustard and cress, and flowered in the first year of sowing. It comes from mountainous regions of the eastern Mediterranean and is frost and drought tolerant but will only over winter in a well-drained position. The flowers are small, classically hooded mauve above with a white lip, and definitely are worth the effort of bending the old bones down for close examination. The leaves form a basal rosette and as with many salvia are aromatic. The name salvia is derived from the Latin word salvus which means safe, referring to the medicinal properties of many of this genus which includes the herb sage. Viscosa means sticky and it is completely covered in tiny hairs, even the flowers, which to its credit are not unpleasantly tacky like petunias and the like. So now its late arrival on the scene will be a mystery to you also; an understated little gem, much loved by bees, butterflies and me.