Salvia madrensis

robinmi_gwSeptember 23, 2005

Having just returned from a vacation in California, I am so jealous to have seen a wonderful flowering specimen of S. madrensis at Cabrillo College. For years I have grown this architecturally splendid Salvia. Flower buds appear in the UK late September,only to be destroyed by the first frost, usually mid-October, when the plant is too large to bring under glass! Grrr!

In fact, just about every Salvia at Cabrillo was stunning. With differing climates, there are some Salvias that perform better in England, but there are many more that are superior in California. A prime example is S. 'Phyllis' Fancy'. My plants are good, started to flower a month ago, but those in California are to die for!

Stunning Salvias in the UK currently are S. gilliesii, S. sagittata, S. semiatrata, S. splendens(huge species), S. concolor, all the involucratas and guaraniticas, S. oxyphora, S. darcyi, and many others. All the greggii/microphylla types are even better than in early spring.

The unusually warm and moist Autumn has encouraged monstrous growth on the winter-flowering species which I have to remove to frost-free conditions under glass in the next 3 weeks. Help! I don't have enough space!

Regards, Robin.

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Well here in the sunny tropics my beautiful madrensis is nearly 5 ft tall & it has flower buds everywhere. I will post a pic when the flowers open.

Cheers Annette

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 8:30PM
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rosewomann(z7 MD Montg. Co)

You're jealous? I'm jealous of: your trip, the under glass place you speak of, your enormous collection & Annette's wonderful sunny tropics! Fall is here & I don't know how my ever growing frost tender collection will fit in the garage or living room(full sun exposure).
Is it a sin to covet everyone else's Salvias? If so I'm in big trouble! ;-p


    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 5:53PM
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No sin Rose just human nature :0)we all want what everyone has got

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 10:55PM
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wardw(z6 NJ)

It is a real shame those of us in colder climates can't enjoy this plant. My wife and I make a special trip to Longwood Gardens during their mum festival partly because they have dozens of perfectly huge madrensis in their conseratory - at least for the past few years they have. I spend the rest of the year trying to forget just how fantastic they are. To make things worse, several companies have been offering a red stemmed cultivar called Red Neck Girl. That one has my fingers itching.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 9:14AM
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It is nearly 2 years since I wrote about Salvia madrensis. Last year I did see flowers for 2 weeks in mid-October, then it got frosted. Imagine my surprise and delight to discover flowers on the 28th August this year, 2007. Don't know why, as we had summer in April, and cool, very wet, and cloudy conditions since. I deliberately planted it in the sunniest possible area, and it has thrived.

Many other species, guaranitica, involucrata, Phyllis Fancy, splendens, have loved the cold, wet weather, whereas some species, especially those from Turkey and the Middle East have drowned. The Chinese species have been great, except for castanea which refused to flower.

Best regards, Robin.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 1:47PM
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One of the great pleasures of salvias is that every year is different even if the basic plants are the same. It has been very hot and dry here this summer and that same batch of sages you mention as having thrived have done poorly for me. That big pink splendens which you clued me into is just now recovering from all the heat and may actually be OK by mid month. The guaranticas with regular watering came through alright except for the Van Remsen, which was well beyond that, a 7 foot stunner. The involucratas have yet to bloom at all and some hardly bothered to grow. I'm wondering whether to just stick with Mulberry Jam which has been blooming very well since July and has topped five feet. Probably not, since involucrata has its own special qualities that I would miss. This has been the year of the bush sages. Of the 10 or so Richard sent me microphylla Orange Door has been the most impressive. It nearly as strong a grower as neurepia and for some unknown reason is loved by every woman that sees it.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 12:34PM
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