Scarlet Sage choices recommended by Nancy Szerlag in her Annuals For Michigan by Lone Pine Press.
S. splendens (Salvia, Scarlet Sage) grows 12–18" tall and spreads up to 12". It is known for its spikes of bright red tubular flowers. Recently, cultivars have become available in white, pink, purple and orange.
‘Phoenix’ forms neat compact plants with flowers in bright and pastel shades of many colors.
‘Salsa’ bears solid and bicolored flowers in shades of red, orange, cream and pink.
‘Vista’ forms an early-flowering, compact plant with dark blue-green foliage and bright red flowers.
Additional choices to consider:
‘St. John's Fire’ is very compact;
‘Blaze of Fire’ and ‘Red Blazer’ grow only 1 foot tall;
‘Carbiniere Scarlet’ is only 10 inches tall;
‘Early Bonfire’ grows to 2 feet;
‘Pirate’ is fiery red, to 18 inches;
‘Royal Purple’ is medium-sized with purple flowers;
‘White Fire’ is medium also, with cream-white flowers.
The Welwyn Hybrids have flowers that are salmon or pink.