Salvia Mystic Spires

sprout(z8b/9 Houston)September 16, 2005

I just picked up the new Salvia 'Mystic Spires'. It is reported to be a dwarf version of 'Indigo Spires' (developed by Ball flora). I have to say it is a very handsome plant in a gallon container. Very compact, well branched foliage and long, straight very blue flowers. It looks very much like Indigo Spires without the floppy stems and the curly flower spike.

I've been looking for a compact version of Indigo Spires for quite some time. I hope that this is it!

Anyone else have experience with Mystic Spires?

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No, but I'd like a compact version of Indigo spires! :o) I like that color better than most blues.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 12:57PM
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sprout(z8b/9 Houston)

Be on the lookout for it.

I first spotted a single specimen it at Cornelius nursery here in Houston. I picked it up and contemplated buying it but talked myself out of it, telling myself that either the plant was mislabeled or it was some sort of marketing ploy.

I next spotted an entire table of them at Houston Plants. It was incredible sight ... here were several rows of these plants that looked just like well behaved Indigo Spires. This time I took the bait.

When I got home I googled Salvia Mystic Spires and found out that it is indeed a new variety! Finally! Now if I can only find a dwarf 'Mutabilis' rose!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 8:03AM
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I've had several Mystic Spires since March, and they are great! I agree that the plant looks much like Indigo Spires, but the flowers are more like Black and Blue. Hummingbirds LOVE them. BTW, it roots readily from tip cuttings.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 11:20AM
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I really like this salvia, but it gets a little top heavy and falls over when it rains. I have to stake it or tie it up. I got it early this spring at Joseph's in Pearland. It is over 4 ft. tall now.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 5:05PM
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I found this plant at Home Depot. I had looked for it at several nurseries after having read all positive articles about it. The day I found it I was unable to purchase it due to a hudge rail storm that came up and when I returned later in the week, they were all gone. I was so dissapointed. Yours looks great. Maybe next year. I'm a salvia nut.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 10:17PM
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Still trying 'Mystic Spires' out in the UK. So far, not very impressive, yes it does seem to be a small form of 'Indigo Spires', but maybe we should wait until September to realise the true potential of this plant. I have just one in a large container, does not seem too happy, so maybe I will plant it out in the border. Problem is that we are in a drought situation (Yes, this even happens in England!), so watering is essential even though we have a hose-pipe ban, probably for a year!


    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 7:54PM
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Robin, My Mystic Spires Blue is getting leggier and more open as it gets older. Not as pretty as it was earlier and it does not like drought. It is the first thing to wilt in my border.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 9:03PM
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I saw some yesterday... I think I like Indigo Spires better. I SWEAR it's not that same blue. :o)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 10:49AM
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peterls(N Yorks, UK)

I am a newcomer to Salvias, but am very impressed with three Mystic Spires in a large pot. They started to flower on 24th July and are looking good and upright.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 4:10PM
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susan82(So. CA)

I am a big fan of Indigo Spires, and was thrilled to find Mystic Spires! I planted three about six months ago, and
they are still healthy and happy. I deadhead faithfully, and they are in constant bloom. I like the compactness of them, and the straighter flower. Hummers like them too!


    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 3:19PM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

I may have seen this plant on my route home from work. The leaf color and shape appear the same as 'Indigo Spires', but the plant is much shorter (appears to be 16-18" from this distance) and is covered with tall indigo-blue spikes on the top. Since I have only seen it from a car, it may be S. nemorosa instead. I'll keep my eye out for this at the local nurseries or on-line for planting this fall.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 7:11PM
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Does anyone know the botanical name of this plant?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 6:25PM
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This Salvia does not have a botanical name as it is a hybrid, presumably of Salvia farinacea and Salvia longispicata, as is Salvia 'Indigo Spires'.

It has become really popular and has performed well in Britain this year. Although it has grown to 2 ft. it never gets untidy as can 'Indigo Spires'.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 6:37PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Check the Ball Seed site. They hold the patent. It is a selection/modification of Indigo Spires and S. farinacea x longispicata `Mystic Spires' is probably the correct way to refer to it.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 10:28PM
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Check out the following from San Marcos Growers. They've applied for a patent on Mystic Spires.
Parentage: (S.longispicata and S. farinacea)

Salvia Mystic Spires Blue ['Balsalmisp'] PP18,054 (Compact Indigo Spires Sage) - An attractive compact perennial sage that has upright growth to 18 to 24 inches with dark gray-green leaves and purple blue flowers from spring through fall. Plant in full sun in well-drained soil and irrigate regularly to occasionally. Listed as hardy to USDA zone 7 (0-10 � F) This plant is a "dwarf form" of the venerable Salvia 'Indigo Spires', a hybrid between two large mexican sages, Salvia longispicata and S. farinacea that was discovered as a chance hybrid seedling at the Huntington Botanic Garden in the 1970's. Salvia Mystic Spires Blue, comes out of the Ball FloraPlant breeding program in Illinois and is an irradiation induced sport of 'Indigo Spires '. The irradiation occurred on May 20, 2003 and this cultivar was selected in August 2003 at a test facility in Arroyo Grande, Calif. This new cultivar is more compact because of shorter internodes and has smaller leaves than Salvia 'Indigo Spires'. It was originally registered for Plant Breeders Rights in Commonwealth countries and in the US Patent office as Salvia 'Balsalmisp' and received US Patent PP18,054 on September 18, 2007. The description above is based on our research of Salvia Mystic Spires Blue ['Balsalmisp'] PP18,054 and observations of it growing in our nursery, in our own garden and in other gardens. We would appreciate hearing from anyone who has additional information about this plant, even if they disagree with what we have written.

Here is a link that might be useful: San Marcos Growers

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 1:41AM
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I grew a patch in sandy soil in 2010 and I am doing so again. Hardiness to zone 7 seems a bit generous. None of last year's plants survived a very typical zone 7 winter here in SW New Jersey - 0 for 10. Indigo Spires does survive occasionally. I was impressed with it as a nectar garden plant, while hummingbirds used it occasionally, butterflies went bonkers for it. The only downside is that the flower-heads retain the faded flowers so the plants can look a bit ratty.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 4:29PM
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I'm giving up on this one. I've bought it three times, being careful that it came from a different grower each time, and it is always the same. It reaches 4 to 5 feet tall. It's very pretty, but I need a blue salvia that only gets 2 feet tall. I don't know if they are intentionally misrepresenting it or it just does this in my garden, but I won't buy it again.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 11:56AM
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You may want to try S.farinacea "Victoria"
as it would be a better fit for your garden.
The other suggestion would be not to fertilize
your Salvias and occasionally prune them for a tidier
plant. My Victoria is around 2' and we are in less of
a drought than you are.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 9:24PM
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Thanks Art, I have 'Victoria' in a couple of other places in the garden, and may have to use it in 'Mystic Spires' spot also. As you can see in the attached picture, my intent was to have the blue of 'Mystic Spires' directly behind the yellow L.A. lilies, which are 2 feet tall. I've tried pruning it early, but can't get the timing down right. I'm really frustrated with it.

My garden has no idea that we are in a severe drought because it is all under irrigation in raised beds.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 10:54PM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

bossjim: That is gorgeous!! What is the name of the yellow lilies?

I guess I must have gotten the real deal -- our S. 'Mystic Spires' is still just a couple of feet tall, after a couple of years in this spot (going on the 3rd year). We have clay-soil-on-steroids, so I hope it does stay compact.

I have tried S.farinacea 'Victoria' but it always gets powdery mildew and takes on a sickly, sparse appearance later in the year.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 6:11PM
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You Have two Liles the first with more arching foliage is
a Hemerocallis (Daylily) the second which are upright smaller
foliage is either a Asiatic or Oriental lily. Bossjim1 will
have to tell you the cultivars. I would say his garden looks
shaded by tree's also.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 7:49PM
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Jenn, the lilies between the daylilies and mystic spires, in the picture, are Longiflorum-Asiatic (L.A.) Hybrids.

Art, there's no shade, the saliva is in full sun from 9am till near sundown.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 8:23PM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

Art and Jim -- thank you! If they look that good in full sun in Texas, then I'm sure they'll take our summer heat. :)

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 11:57PM
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