Salvia africana-lutea is an aromatic, hardy shrub with unusually colored flowers borne over a long period. It is fairly fast-growing, up to 2 m and very attractive to wildlife.
Flowering begins in early spring, and the bright yellow flowers soon fade to rusty-orange and then reddish brown. After the petals fall, the saucer-like calyx, which becomes papery with age, remains as an added attraction. The flowers are both attractive and a curiosity. The flowers contain a lot of sweet nectar which attracts bees and moths, and acts as an essential food supply for sunbirds, particularly when proteas are not flowering. The flowers are complimented by greyish-green, aromatic foliage.
This is an excellent choice for coastal gardens, as it prefers light, well-drained soil and full sun, tolerates strong winds, and is drought resistant. It has been cultivated successfully further inland and upcountry, as it is capable of resprouting from its rootstock it recovers suitably from frost damage, but preferably try to find it a warm sheltered spot in the garden if you live in a frosty area.
For more prolific growth, water well and give it plenty of compost/mulch. Brown salvia is easily propagated by stem cuttings, or seed sown in spring.