Salvia hybrid: karwinskii + ?

jenn(SoCal 9/19)July 6, 2005

I have a Salvia that I purchased at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens a few years ago. One of its parents is S. karwinskii and I don't remember the other but I think it is greggii, but not sure. The flowers are red with a tiny bit of pink, the habit is upright, stays about 4 feet tall, and blooms mostly in spring and fall (seems to take a rest in the heat of summer). It's one of my favorites because it doesn't flop and is upright and is just the right size for a smallish border.

Anyone know the other parent?


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This sounds very interesting. Do you have a photo?
S. karwinskii hybridises with S. involucrata, but the resultant plants are`generally 2-3 metres tall, and flower in winter, and quite spectacular too! Is it possible that you have a hybrid of involucrata x greggii/microphylla? There are a couple, i.e. 'Mulberry Jam' and 'Joan' which to my amateur eyes seem to have a lot of microphylla in them. Both are superb, summer-flowering plants, neither growing to more than 1.5 metres tall.

Regards, Robin.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 5:07PM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

I found it..... S. karwinskii x greggii (Riverside Sage). Not much is known about it. That's what was on the tag when I bought the plant. The lack of info makes me wonder if it has been reassigned a new name.......?????? Richard???

It is a great plant, one of my favorite Salvias.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 5:26PM
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I have decided that my Salvia karwinskii must be a hybrid, but with what?? If anyone has any ideas, let me know. The leaves (and odd scent) are just like that of UCB S. karwinskii, but they are sort of a lime green, rather than grayish. The flowers are a bright, true pink. The calyces are bright, lime green. It doesn't seem to get taller than ~ 4 feet, and is not setting seed, despite it being the absolute favorite of the hummingbirds lately.

This is all quite different from the S. karwinskiis at UCB. They have 2 populations there, red w/ green calyx and salmon/red with red calyx (gray leaves) which gets extremely tall.

What is odd is that the S. karwinskii at Strybing looks more like mine (pink), albeit MUCH taller. I've only had these for one season, so they may get taller in future.

Anyway, the not setting seed issue is curious, as I know that these plants are prolific seeders. I have a S. karwinskii X pulchella (probably really univerticillata) which also does not set seed, but presumably because my hummers get nectar from the base (the flowers are inflated, but the opening is VERY small). They are not "robbing" the nectar from the pink karwinskii, so seed should set. I might need to give it more time... they are still blooming.

Rich, I recall you had asked about whether other salvias are setting seed in my garden. Just about everything has... even the S. collinsii! Those seeds are tiny, as are the seeds from S. iodantha. I've got a few seeds from my S. univerticillata (still labeled pulchella... from UCB)., and even from what I believe is the true S. pulchella (Strybing). I've been collecting seed from S. corrugata, though it's not always easy! I have not found seed on S. squalens.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 12:23PM
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Think that you may have some seriously interesting hybrids from your seeds!!! Keep us informed!

Many of these Salvias don't set seed in England.

Will pop over to steal cuttings???


    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 5:15PM
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Hi Robin,

Most of my salvias do set seeds, thanks to the Anna's hummingbirds who live here all year long, including winter! I was really surprised to see them feeding from the S. collinsii; the flowers are so tiny.

You're more than welcome to come and rob cuttings! Or, I'll give you a wish list and we can call it a trade. ;-)

I'm looking forward to the Cabrillo sale. It's a bit of a drive for me, so I'll probably make it a full weekend getaway, especially since it's on Mother's Day. :-)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 6:45PM
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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

I have a karwinskii hybrid that I got as Wave Hill several years ago...we went round and round on the name and what it may be, but in any case, mine gets pink flowers and is currently growing in part shade to about 4 ft tall and as I recall sets no seed.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 10:44PM
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Sounds like mine. I wanted to change my description to say *apple* green leaves (not lime), with lime calyces and bright pink flowers. It's a beauty. Yep, only about 4 feet tall... so this means I will have to perhaps move mine. I have 4 of them (bought in gallon pots from Fairyland, Oakland), and was anticipating that they would grow 10+ feet tall, like the karwinskiis at UCB Botanical.

Sheesh. Now I want those really tall ones, too... LOL. Thanks for your reply!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 11:12PM
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I have S. x "Riverside" that is the only karwiskii hybrid
I am aware of. Because of our snow this year mine has not started flowering yet.My past experience is that in Texas
its flowering is August -September small pink flowers it
came thru our drought of two years in great shape. We will
keep you posted.
My S. x "Silkes Dream" is begining to flower very early this year Mystic and Indigo spires are not budded yet. Farinacea,lyrata,S. x "Neuvo leon" and
S.x "Wild Grape",S.x "Pastel Purple" S x "Rose Pink Bright"(all lyciodes & greggi crosses) and coccinea,greggii,microphylla, x jamensis and associated hybrids,splendens are all blooming. S.miniata,lyioides,,guarnitica,darcyi,scabra,blepharophylla,purpurea,involucrata,leucantha,madrensis and rutilans have not .

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 11:50PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Salvia greggii x karwinskii was found as a chance seedling under a S. karwinskii specimen at the U C Riverside Botanical Garden. The greggii parentage is assumed. It has a flowering habit similar to a Buddleja.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 12:14AM
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OK... tonight I found tons of seeds on my S. karwinskii plants that I thought might be hybrids. Hooray! I really love this salvia. It has been blooming for months. At first I thought the smell was odd, but my husband claims it smells like passion fruit/ maracuja. This description is pretty accurate.

I'm really surprised this isn't offered more in the trade... I suppose that's because it blooms in winter. Strybing's karwinskii seems to be the closest to what I have... see link below. UCB's 2 populations are very different from Strybing's. I asked the UCB salvia propagator at the sale on Friday why they don't propagate/ sell it... he just shrugged. I got several "job offers" to be a volunteer propagator, LOL.

Art, other hybrids that I now grow are:
Riverside, greggii X karwinskii
puberula X karwinskii (both from Richard)
pulchella X karwinskii (Strybing)

Speaking of pulchella, I asked the UCB propagator why they sell it as such, when it looks like what most are now calling S. univercillata, and Strybing's S. pulchella is completely different. He got pretty defensive... claiming UCB has been growing it since the 1970s. Ah well, I tried.

Richard, can you describe to me what your S. karwinskii species looks like? As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I'd be interested in growing the taller/ redder versions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Strybing S. karwinskii (pink)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 10:56PM
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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

To me, s.karwinskii smells like tangerines..

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 11:35AM
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