Salvia sessilifolia

voodoobrewJune 4, 2013

My S. sessilifolia [Madagascar] has flowered, I'm collecting a few seeds, and I've managed to root it twice by layering! Cuttings didn't work, but I must admit I didn't give that much chance due to lack of plant material.

The first attempt at layering took a few months, presumably due to colder weather. The most recent attempt was much faster, and one can see the mass of roots and new shoots in the photo. The stems are vertical, so I hold them down in soil with rocks.

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2nd photo

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 6:41PM
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bloom detail

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 6:48PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Very nice! Kathy Musial might want to talk to you. At the Salvia Summit, she said the plant at the Huntington Botanical Garden was weak. Perhaps Don Mahoney also.

I'm not surprised, based on its growth habit. This species seems to want to send dense semi-woody stems straight up, which are very hard to root, in my experience. S. penstemonoides is similar. It can be found in the flood plains of creeks in central Texas in caliche (lime) soils.

I visualize its environment as having to compete with similar thick brush species, at the perimeter of their growth zone. Lots of Salvias can be found in transition zones.

It might be very useful to get the field notes on its environment from the herbarium sheets.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:35AM
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Congratulations! This is SUCH a rare Salvia!!! If and when you have a few spare seeds.....think of me please!!!


    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 12:54PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

I found a herbarium sheet for S. sessilifolia th the Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOT) online herbarium

The herbarium sheet is from 1987, and the GPS coordinates (20 16 S, 37 06 E) place it on or near a ridge in the high mountains of Madagascar, on the Indian Ocean side. Google Earth for that sections seems to indicate the area is now agricultural, but it may still be tapia woodland. There is no indication of soil type, but temperatures and other climatology could be inferred. It might work out well in the SE SA.

So yeah, I'm interested, too!

Here is a link that might be useful: MOBOT herbarium sheet of S. sessilifolia

This post was edited by rich_dufresne on Fri, Jun 7, 13 at 16:03

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 3:23PM
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It is a beautiful salvia for certain.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 2:35PM
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Wow, your plant looks great! That's what makes sharing rare plants so rewarding. I have found this species easy to prop by *soft* cuttings. If they are even a little woody they will be a challenge, just like CA native sages.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 11:49AM
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Thanks, everyone. Yes, I did share my first rooted plant with Cabrillo College.

I have about 30 seeds. If I can manage to germinate some myself, I will then share some. :)

I haven't had luck germinating Salvia sessei seeds which I have collected in my yard. Any tips? I'll try again, but I don't have many seeds. I noticed that the Anna's hummingbirds tend to 'nectar rob' with sessei blooms, presumably because they are a bit too long. Hence the low pollination rate.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 2:21PM
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