SEMI-DEER-RESISTANT PLANTS for 2000Red Salvia vanhouttei -- not to be confused with PMS (Perennial Maroon Salvia)
Salvia vanhouttei which was introduced into this market in spring, 1992 -- bears flaming red flowers in red bracks so when the flowers fall the red bracks remain and fool most people into thinking the bloom is still there. It is a drought tolerant perennial with showy spikes of red flowers beginning in late summer and fall. Zone 7. Deer tolerant too! The genus Salvia is from the Latin name used by Pliny, meaning "safe, unharmed', referring to the medicinal properties of some of the species.
If pruned often, this could be a replacement for Salvia splendens or the red annual salvia. Salvia van houttei bears wine-red flowers on 3' tall plants in late summer and fall. No matter how tall and wide it might get - a good five by five feet if not cut back every six weeks- these are jewels. They rise out of a well-clothed light green plant from August on. 'Van Houttei' gives its best in light shade with regular irrigation, well-amended soil and a good layer of top mulch.