This is the plant which is the default banner on my website. This first picture looks rather red but the banner is the right colour.
Van Houttii appears to be a form of splendens but is probably longer lived. It is quite permanent in a warmish environment. It has marvellous wine coloured flowers that everyone loves and flowers most of the year. It grows to about 2m x 1m in time and is very useful for part shade.
This plant is very well known worldwide and has been sold for a long time. It is not known where it originated. These days and in sub tropical areas of Australia there are a big selection of similar splendens type salvias, some of them get their own name. There are a few variations of the spelling of the name.
In Australia there is a very slight variation called ‘Alan’s Maroon’. It is hard to recognise the difference unless you are very familiar with them but I think Alan’s maroon is a bit superior. 2022 I have lost the original van Houttii and only have the Alan’s maroon variety now. With the rain and lack of frost this year my Alan’s maroon is 2m. All van Houttii are out of stock as at February.