please ID Is this a salvia?

lorna-organicMay 1, 2008

I apologize for the poor quality of the photo, however, I think it does show the bush well enough. I have several of these bushes on my property in central NM. I believe they are native to the area. The bushes are simply masses of silvery twigs, about three feet tall and equally as wide. They never have leaves. The bushes flower 2-3 times each summer with SWEET scented, tiny, deep purple flowers.

Thank you, Lorna

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hybridsage

Does this plant get Lavender balloon like pods on it?
Google Salazaria mexicana see if it looks like your plant

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 12:14AM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Salazaria mexicana is also called paper bag shrub and bladder sage because of the tan swollen calyxes. It belongs to the monotypic genus Salazaria, related to Scutellaria, not Salvia. The flowers are supposed to be an inch long.

Do the bladders look like those on the Las Pilitas web page?

If not, this may be a member of the pea family (Leguminosae, Fabaceae). These flowers are somewhat Salvia like, but have a pouch (keel) for the lower petals, two lateral petals (wings), and an upper petal (standard) that resemble the corresponding parts of the Salvia flower, but differ in function and articulation. For instance, the stamens and pistil are usually enclosed in the keel.

Can you do a macro of a couple flowers?

Here is a link that might be useful: Las Pilitas Nursery page for Salazaria mexicana

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 8:29AM
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lorna-organic

Thanks for the responses. It must be a pea. The sweet scent, come to think of it, is similar to sweet peas. The bush is not deciduous--it never has leaves.

Lorna

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 10:13AM
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ccroulet(z9 CA Sunset 18)

I'm wondering if this is Psorothamnus (indigo bush), perhaps P. scoparius.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 12:40PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Try this page:

Smoke Tree - Scientific Name: Psorothamnus spinosus (Gray) Barneby

I love that blue color, especially against the gray stems.

Here is a link that might be useful: Psorothamnus spinosus

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 4:14PM
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ccroulet(z9 CA Sunset 18)

But I don't think the smoke tree occurs in NM. In Calif., it's a low desert shrub, common along washes, mostly USDA zone 10 & Sunset 13.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 5:05PM
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lorna-organic

Thank you for the leads. This is what it is:

Psorothamnus scoparius (Gray) Rydb. broom dalea FABACEAE

The article I read claims the bush does have a few leaves. I've never seen any. They must be tiny! BTW, I live in the upper Chihuahuan Desert at about 5000 elevation.

Lorna

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 2:23AM
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ccroulet(z9 CA Sunset 18)

The leaves would likely be seasonal. I'd look for them either in early spring or after the monsoon season is well underway.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 11:50AM
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xebby(6NM)

I also live in central NM. I don't think I've ever see any plants with that color of flower growing wild nearby or perhaps I just haven't looked close enough. Are they only in your yard or do you see them in other areas in this state? I'd love to see them in person, I live just south of Albuquerque.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 6:09PM
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ccroulet(z9 CA Sunset 18)

The link below might supply some useful info. I would expect (but I don't know, not having been there to look) that this species is common in appropriate habitat. I have the @#$%est time telling our Calif. species apart, except for the smoketree (Psorothamnus spinosus), which is much larger and has a very distinctive habitat and appearance, but the indigo bushes I've seen -- where they occur -- are pretty abundant and easy to spot when they're in flower.

Here is a link that might be useful: Psorothamnus scoparius info

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 2:13PM
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lorna-organic

Hi, Xebby, I live in a semi rural area outside of Los Lunas, south of Albuquerque. I have not noticed these bushes growing in the surrounding area. There are lots of them on my property. However, they are hard to spot from a distance unless they are in bloom.

Lorna

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 11:22AM
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genevieve_2009

Lorna, Do u have any seeds from this bush? I would like to try some. I'm in NM also. I think the bush might be Dalea Spinosa (I once saw them growing wild in their natural range in southern nevada). If you have seeds (NOW or later in the fall) I might have some that you want that we could trade.... New to this site - so don't have a good feel on how to use site yet...bear with me on this!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 6:04PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Check with people more familiar with germinating xeric legumes. They are likely to have thick seed coats and/or to need germination tricks to break dormancy.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 9:43PM
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hybridsage

If that is a Dalea it should root from cuttings easily right now.
Art

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 10:38PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Psorothamnus scoparius is known as broom dalea. Dalea is also the name of a Leguminose genus. I believe that Psorothamnus was split off of Dalea at some point, but have not checked this out yet.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 9:33AM
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