Salvia eremostachya

salviakeeperApril 9, 2010

First of all, many thanks to ccroulet for sharing the location of this and other salvias in and around Southern California. While right off the highway, it did take me a while to find this swarm of Desert Sage but it was well worth the effort and finally I have found this uncommon species which was in full bloom at the end of March, purple and white flowering plants scattered in the granite boulders on this steep slope. I've grown several specimens in Sta Barbara County and for the most part they've not survived very long. Now, I will try to mimic their environment as much as possible, surrounding them with rocks, in sandy well draining soil on an east facing slope. The surrounding plants were jojoba and a species of viguiera among others. The plant is extremely aromatic and it's pebbly dark green leaves resemble S brandegei which is also very limited to specific habitats in the wild (Sta Rosa Island and in northern coastal Baja.)but the flower petals are totally unique. Also of interest is that the habitat of these eremostachya is right above highest creosote bush and ocotillos seen along the Palms to Pines highway out of Palm Desert.

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woops, url link here

Here is a link that might be useful: S eremostachya

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 4:06PM
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ccroulet(z9 CA Sunset 18)

Actually, there are a couple of creosote along Carrizo Rd., which is just above (in elevation) the place I sent you to. But you're right, the S. eremostachya are pretty much above the Larrea. My plants that I grew from seed are puny -- woody with small leaves. I hope they'll snap out of it by this time next year. I got cuttings to root, but then they'd die. If I try again, I'll stick with seed.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 9:25PM
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I must have had maybe a half dozen plants over the last several years all acquired from Rancho Santa Ana Botanical garden sales. I lost an old one this past fall and I still have one left that is in full bloom now and has been for about a month. This plant is right on the edge of a steep drop off to the road below which i think is key to it's tolerance to coastal wet feet with excellent drainage. My rock here is all sandstone, nothing granitic in this area. It has alot of branch die off, sort of what happens to most clevelandi specimens here, but shoots up some stems on one side of the plant that look rather vigorous. It would be nice if the whole plant were to thrive. Those plants out in the carrizo zone are probably really old for the most part. I looked around for young plants and seedlings, saw none. I'm guessing eremo is very finnicky with germination and survival, requiring very specific conditions which is probably why its populations are so limited. I have only found seedlings one year, late fall 2008, from my eremos and none of them are the pure species, all hybrids.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 3:18PM
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