Salvia I.D. take 2: This time with pics

dicotMarch 8, 2008

I'm still hopeful that someone can help me id this plant, which I think is a salvia.

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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Nice images for what you want information on. Unfortunately, this clearly is a Plectranthus. Which one, John McGregor may be able to say.

Note that the hood is on the bottom, with the two lips, much reduced in size, are on top. This puts it in the Subfamily Ocimoideae, which has upside down flowers relative to other mints (with a few exceptions like S. jurisicii). Also, there are four anthers on the flowers, not two as in true Salvias.

The foliage looks thick and somewhat succulent. Are you familiar with Spanish thyme or Cuban oregano? It looks a lot like those.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 8:40PM
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Thanks so much Rich. Based on a quick and dirty google images search, I think it's more likely Plectranthus argentatus (Silver Spurflower) than Plectranthus amboinicus (Cuban oregano), but I'm going to have to look a little harder to confirm that. At least now I'm headed in the right direction. How would I contact John McGregor to get his opinion?

Even completely neglected as that plant is where I took the photos, it's extremely healthy and very beautiful. Now if I can just figure how to squeeze a 6 foot perennial into my already overcrowded suburban lot.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2008 at 12:35AM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

It's been a while since we've posted to each other. I assume John is still pretty busy working on a book, article, or some other document on Plectranthus. He does monitor these forums, though, and responds when he can. At this point, it's best to leave it up to him.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2008 at 11:28AM
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jfr1107(ABQ z7 and denial)

I am being sort of lazy here - but is the Yahoo Plecatranthus forum still active and under John MacGregor's tutelage? Glad to hear he is still active, as he is a great resource!

John R.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2008 at 7:44PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)


I just got an email post from John M., and he informs me that the Plectranthus forum is still up and running. Even though it is not too active, the archive and photo section are still there (Hopefully, the images were transferred)

He is in a bad position to do much with Plectranthus right now because he had a foot injury a year ago, and had to drop the Plec project because of other commitments and reduced capacity. I think he wants to get back to it, but because of the freeze last year, his collection got pounded. That's probably the straw that broke the project's back.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2008 at 8:51PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Your plant looks far too green and too open to be Plectranthus argentatus.

My Plectranthus argentatus, grown while I lived in Long Beach, CA, was *much* more silver than yours. Also, it was more like 3 feet tall rather than 6 feet. It was a stiff, tight grower, even in dappled shade.

A search with google will turn up lots of photos showing the silvery foliage of Plectranthus argentatus.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 1:05PM
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i´d think is plectranthus barbatus, or coleus barbatus that means the same.

In brazil, they call it "false boldo", and use it as a natural medicine.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 12:41PM
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I think you may be correct Matias. I had to laugh - when I looked up its medicinal properties, one listed by Wikipedia was "...stimulates a tanning response when applied topically." I should test it by rubbing a few leaves on my skin - I could potentially get rich selling leaf bundles to starlets and teenaged L.A. girls who spend a fortune on tanning beds and tanning creams.

Did you ever have any luck with any of those seed I sent you? I can't even remember which species they were now.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 12:34AM
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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

It looks rather like a plant I have and know as solenostemon shirensis. Is this one and the same?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 11:30PM
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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

That was a dumb question,now that I've looked both of them up,I see that they are not the same unfortunately. The solenostemon was given to me and I really hadn't paid any attention to it. When I saw the plectranthus barbatus, I suddenly got interested! Hoping that what I have would attain that size...I see that Annie's carries the plectranthus barbatus. I may have to get one. The photo looks as though it's growing in full sun, is it?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 11:12PM
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Hi dicot, unfortunatly not. I think that californian salvias doesn´t grow propperly in buenos aires.

I remember mellifera, and m. tera seca, greggi and others.

gregii I have some, and grow well here.

thanks and best wishes, now it´s time to spring for you!!

here, it´s time to build a greenhouse.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 1:28PM
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