Doesn't have to be a perennial. I love the blue, blue flowers, as well as the Red, and would like to plan for a Blue in next year's garden.
My personal favorites are Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' and Salvia patens 'Blue Angel'.
Two plants of Salvia vitifolia!
Also Salvia sagittata, S. macrophylla forms and hybrids, including S. macrophylla x sagittata Big Swing. S. cacalifolia is hardy USDA Zone 7. S. urica tall form and S. sinaloensis qualify, so do forms of S. chamaedryoides and S. lycioides
Guaranitica flowers are more of a cobalt or Prussian blue
I'll second the Salvia macrophylla x sagittata, which I bought from Mr. Dufresne this spring, as the clearest pure blue flower (and a robust plant - 6' wide x 6' high counting flower spikes in its first year, in a large pot). I also recommend S. guaranitica 'Black and blue' as being a beautiful blue, though I suspect it is not as technically perfect/pure a blue.
THREE plants of Salvia vitifolia!!!
Any forms/hybrids of sagittata and macrophylla have true blue flowers.............but......for me, vitifolia is the best!
Salvia blue ensign and black and blue are the hummer favs here.
The ones I mentioned may not be the most intense blue but are the most intense attractor of hummers in this yard.
Steve, I remember your photo of Salvia 'Blue Ensign', a guaranitica, right? It was GORGEOUS!
I'm reluctant to add another guaranitica to the garden, tho. B&B is coming out next year. It just attracts the Southern Pink Moth so heavily, that I am lucky to get 3 or 4 blooms all season long. I get them on 'Lady in Red' as well, but it recovers so quickly and blooms anyway. B&B doesn't. It is their favorite plant - the moth, that is. Anyone else have problems with this pest? In reading about it, I find a lot of folks who think this is a pretty, cute moth. Not IMO. Very destructive.
Robin, any clue where I can find seeds and/or plants? I think we may have discussed this Salvia (vitifolia)last year. I just ran out of time and money! LOL! Definitely interested in this one. I doubt that Southern Pink Moth is an issue for you. The moths seemed to ignore the S. darcyi, S. 'Hot Lips', and S. 'Cherry Queen'. So whatever I decide on will be a trial run to see if they can survive the attack of the SPM! Love that blue of the S. vitifolia, too. Hardiness?
I'll be looking up the other Salvias mentioned to me. Thanks, Rich, for mentioning the cold hardiness of S. cacalifolia. Definitely will check it out.
Check the home-page on my site www.robinssalvias.com for seed information.
I just potted up March-sown seedlings of S. vitifolia three weeks ago (long story), and it thrived in the 90 degree heat as long as I kept it fed and watered. It is growing a new root system rapidly, with rhizomes. I suspect it will do well in southeastern US semitropical conditions. If it maintains these abilities, I will be doing lots of it for trialling next year.
Robin, is it hardy for you?
Yes, it seems to be totally hardy here, and even seeds around a bit. These seedlings were under 10 inches of snow! Not so sure it will like hot conditions, even here it prefers partial shade, like S. patens.
I'm still waiting for my S. vitifolia to bloom... when is it going to bloom?? I have it in bright shade.
From a late Feb/early March sowing, you should have had flowers in Jul/Aug. When did you sow the seeds? It is a thirsty Salvia.....have you watered it enough?
Good luck.........sure you will love it when it decides to flower. Just wonder if your climate is really suitable...does S. patens perform where you live?
Hard question. S. sagitata would probably top my list, with S. patens 'Guanajuato' a very close second. I haven't seen S. vitifolia in person yet, so have to believe Robin's claim for this one.
Here is a link that might be useful: My Flickr Salvia album
Thanks for your comments on my blue ensign and yes thats correct it is a salvia guaranitica. I guess they are sort of a medium blue compared to some . One year I did try a salvia sagittata and it is quite blue . But it didnt seem to do that well for me. It didnt flower all that well, but it is very blue.
S. sagittata seems to need at least near-Mediterranean conditions. Its hybrid with S. macrophylla (Big Swing) has proven over three seasons to do better in the northern states, blooming much of the summer. They really like it at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.
I plan on trying S. sagittata again next season.
This season I found the hybrid s. greggii "mesa scarlet" loved it. Flowered strongly all season. At the same time I also got the greggii purple and azure.
Funny you should mention that...I was just thinking of sagittata. When I think of the most intensely blue, it is s. sagittata...grows well for me here in SoCal...one of my favorites.
Yes, S. sagittata is a wonderful blue, but there are some which can be more purple/violet.
Still reckon that S. vitifolia is fab., but it seems that this has been incorrectly named!!!!! Recent research indicates that this is actually Salvia serboana. Apparently the real S. vitifolia is a rather small plant, but with true blue flowers.
I've seen Salvia mendax at the Strybing now San Francisco BB, and it looked a lot like cacalifolia, with a patens-sized flower and larger leaves.
I've got a slide, but need to scan it.
Boy, from the photos, this thread sure got me interested in Salvia vitifolia! How beautiful is THAT! Where can I get one?
Here is a link that might be useful: Google Images - Salvia vitifolia
Some of those images are incorrectly identified. The one posted in the upper left is one of mine, taken at Cabrillo College of the related S. patens. This was posted in a thread about S. vitifolia, and if you follow the image to the source (a page on another forum), you will see the accompanying text that states it was posted to illustrate the similarities between the two species.
The Cabrillo form of S. patens is very densely covered with flowers.
Oh no, there may be some confusion as to how a Google Image search works. Not all of the image results are necessarily photos item which was searched. The displayed images are images that appear somewhere (or anywhere) on the web page that contain the search terms. For most searches, the majority of the image results are of the searched subject and therefore the intention is fulfilled, ie., you get an eyeful of what you are looking for.
But not all images are of the searched subject. You have to go to each image's respective webpage to really make sure.
Also, if a reference is made to one in a particular image position on the page such as in the "upper left", be aware that the images will most likely be arranged differently for each searcher as well as differently each time the same person performs the search.
Robin said, "Check the home-page on my site www.robinssalvias.com for seed information."
Robin, I checked your home page and couldn't find any seed information. Do you still have any for sale or trade? I would be most interested.
Thanks so much,
Sorry, finished selling in February, next list hopefully in November.
Thanks for the reply - I appreciate it. I will look forward to November!
Hi, I'm interested in everyone's experience and opinions. How does Salvia macrophylla 'Tingo Blue' compare to Salvia vitifolia? I guess it is called Salvia serboana now.
I'm still looking to add a few more blues. Would love your advice.
Carol in Jacksonville
This post was edited by love_the_yard on Thu, Aug 8, 13 at 23:44
S. macrophylla x sagittata Big Swing seems to be more durable and floriferous tham S. macrophylla Tingo Blue. S. sagittata is definitely an arid plant, and suffers under hot and wet conditions. It tends to rot.
So does S. serboana, if left in a pot. It is more like S. patens, which needs to be selected for flower density and resistance to wet conditions. These two have tap roots that are soft and thicken into long tuberous roots. They do better in loose, porous soils with room to spread and especially dive to find water and nutrients. Sagittata appears to be more of a short-lived surface feeder.
I wish I had the resources and time to investigate the root systems of Salvias, because these are very important clues for predicting the environmental and horticultural responses to sustainability and culture.
Rich, thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question. I'm not sure any of these are good for my climate - hot, humid Jacksonville, Florida - although I thought S. serboana originated in Mexico - so maybe it would be ok if I could find it. Thanks again for your help!
The problem with S. serboana's adaptability is that it is a high altitude plant, used to cool, relatively dry nights. Soil types are also considerations, leading to different expectations of durability. This is true of a lot of other New World sages.
S. miniata from Belize and neighboring Mexico is an exception, which is why it can be almost a weed in southern Florida. The trick is to match native environments of new introductions to your garden's., which is why thorough collection data on herbarium sheets is so valuable.
I am very fond of the fall-flowering Salvia Pitcheri 'grandiflora' or Pitchers blue sage. It takes about 3 years to get fully grown. Pinch the stems back a few times to encourage branching and in full sun, its a 3' diameter ball of blue. It does tend to sprawl once the flowers are getting too heavy. I use a peony support ring to hold it up. Easy to propagate from cuttings.
For what ever reason, the intense blue just doesn't photograph well. But its traffic-stopping spectacular, particularly in a mass planting.
It looks like the sun was out, based on the shadows. You actually get better images on cloudy days. The best days are with moderately dense wispy clods that admit highly diffuses sunlight, with no shadows.
Is that Nekan or Kaneb, or an old-fashioned selection? Nekan has lighter blue flowers, I believe.
I just grabbed that pic off the web. I purchased my original plant from High Country Gardens years ago, it was called in their catalog "Salvia Pitchardi". They no longer sell it - for that matter, the company was sold and they are reorganizing, one hopes for the better given this last season's performance by the new management on fulfilling orders.
I just looked through web photos again, and this is very close to what I have below sprawling on the ground. Mine are about to start blooming, and I'll try to take some pictures on a cloudy day as you suggest.
Here is a link that might be useful: picture from this blog
I haven't forgotten this thread. My Salvia Pitchardi is in full bloom, that deep intense blue, and I waited for a cloudy day to try and capture the hue, but still, no luck. Sunny days are even worse. The closest I can do is by using the zoom and taking the picture from some distance, here's some of the Salvia in a bed with burgundy mums and some agastache. Well, phooey. Its actually a stunning, show-stopping, intense blue but you'll just have to take my word for it....:-).
I have several blue salvias, adding Salvia azurea this year (it's the currently accepted name for the plant that has been called by different names in this discussion -- Salvia pitchardi, Salvia pitcheri, Pitchers blue sage, etc. -- and is pictured just above).
To my eye, Salvia azurea has just a hint of a warm hue that isn't blue. It's also closer to a sky blue, as the accepted name 'azurea' hints at: 'azure' = 'a color that is commonly compared to the color of the sky on a clear summer's day'.
The winner in my garden for the most intense and pure blue Salvia is S. macrophylla x sagittata 'Big Swing', which I ordered from Rich at http://www.worldofsalvias.com. In addition to being a more pure blue color, it's a much more richly saturated blue than Salvia azurea. Garden visitors, in fact, are mesmerized by the purity of the blue that 'Big Swing' displays in its flowers, followed by the question, "where can I get that?"
I highly recommend ordering from http://www.worldofsalvias.com.
Here is a link that might be useful: A World of Salvias
More blue than this, Salvia patens 'Guanajuato'?
Yes, this photo I took over the weekend represents the color of 'Big Swing' quite well (with no significant adjustments made to the image). I also grow some version of S. patens, probably the species. It looks much like your photo. I think that other Salvias might be close as far as being a pure and true blue, but 'Big Swing' is that plus more saturated. I guess the title of this thread "Most Intensely Blue" is open to interpretation as to what that means.
'Big Swing' flowers are smaller than S. patens, and the petals drop of by afternoon on a 90 degree day. But if you have room, that color is stunning. (sorry for the large photo size - I couldn't figure out how to make it smaller without distortion).
Kermit, its a darker shade, but the flower is the same shape.
Basil, I'd say that the pitchardi is the very close to the color of the 'big swing' - and as you say, a bit more intense.
I don't know how you can photograph that blue - maybe if I wasn't using a 10 year old digital camera with a maximum .5 mg resolution.......
Anyway, here in the fall it will bloom from about now until a hard freeze.
This is a cross we made in 2012 and have been testing this year - Big Swing crossed back to one of its parents, S. sagittata. It has a much better habit, more flowers and is substantially hardier cold-wise. No name yet, and we'll probably release it in 2014. Not quite as deep a blue as Big Swing, but superior in many other ways.
That looks like a nice plant - keep us updated. Regarding my 'Big Swing' photo, I took my laptop out to the garden and the photo is a bit deeper blue than the real flower. Not significantly, and still richer than the other Salvias I have. Those blues are indeed hard to photograph.
Blues and reds are hard to get right because the concept of color artistically is circular, while in the world of physics, it is just a band in a continuum, with infrared and ultraviolet as non-visible neighbors. This makes red-blue balances tricky.
I've done some research on anthocyanin pigments as a chemist, and the blue pigments in Salvias patens, vitifolia (serboana), sagittata, macrophylla and cacalifolia, and their relatives are closely related, if not identical. Perceived flower color differ pretty much by concentration and fine morphological characters like the size, shape, and density of the fine hairs of the flowers that actually have the pigments.