Rare Salvia news from the Bay Area
I spent some time talkin to Don Mahoney at Strybing and have gotten some news from Kathe at Cabrillo recently.
Look for Salvia libanensis in the next year or so. This is the disjunct cousin of regla and sessei from the Santa Marta Mountains of Northern Colombia, a disjunct range capping the Andes and located close to the Caribbean. It is the pride of the mountains there also, with very showy red flowers.
Salvia libanensis online herbarium type sheet from the Smithsonian:
Salvia lineata did very well for Cabrillo. It isn't being tried yet at SF BG (Strybing), as far as I know. Cabrillo is more Mediterranean and San Francisco Botanical Garden more like a cloud forest.
This is reflected in the growth of Salvia oxyphora, which bloomed more in the greenhouse than in the garden. At SF BG, it is cooler, and their big plants are about to bloom and are putting out stolons.
In terms of the dispersal of S. oxyphora, young stems shatter and seem to root well when it is cold. Evidently, as growth resumes and it begins to grow, mature plants put out stolons. When it gets warmer, it blooms. Brent at UC Riverside claims to have collected seed. Someone needs to compile a more complete and verified record of this behavior and relate it to the weather patterns of its habitat. It seems to have evolved interesting coping strategies
I was told that SF BG wants to put in an Andean cloud forest section, and will be looking for more Andean sages.
Look for the hybrid of S. madrensis with gesneriflora to become available in a year or so. Right now, I want to see what it looks like in bloom.