Need yellow Salvia ID, 2 pics

poisondartfrogOctober 4, 2008

Can one of the forum's officianado's help with this ID?

I planted out S. nubicola and S. glutinosa seedlings in spring. One was summarily eaten by something and perished, the other escaped injury until Henry Penny (pet rooster) got into the Salvia bed and pulled out the plant labels; a favorite past time with poultry, I guess. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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dyhgarden(7b)

The only yellow that I have is 'La Luna', but the stems on yours are different. My La Luna hybrid has stems like a greggii or microphylla.

Cameron

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 2:30PM
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annette68_gw

Hi Cameron,

Because of the red in the flower would be leaning towards it being salvia nubicola.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 6:19PM
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dyhgarden(7b)

Right -- I mentioned that my La Luna has different stems and ruled it out.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 9:38PM
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poisondartfrog

Thanks for the insight.
Alana

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 7:11AM
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squirrelspur(6B/7A NC)

I agree, looks just like my nubicola.
Great name for the rooster!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 7:52AM
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drusilla

Difficult to say - probably looks more like nubicola but glutinosa can have quite a lot of maroon or brown striated on the flowers too. S nubicola has slightly smaller, darker, more ridged leaves, but if you haven't got the two to compare this may not help much! Have you got a photo showing the leaves? How sticky is it? S nubicola is sticky-ish, but S glutinosa, as you might expect, is very sticky to the touch, collects thistledown, small feathers etc on the inflorescence, and dry calyces will stick to you more readily than to the plant - any help?

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 7:30AM
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poisondartfrog

durcilla, you have hit upon precisely my dilemma. The leaves are quite sticky to the touch; juicy almost, but the striations have become more pronounced over time, suggesting nubicola.
The calyxses are extremely sticky when I harvest the seeds, making it hard to transfer them from my hand to the collection bag suggesting glutinosa, but the bloom time seems to support an identification of nubicola.
I will get a foliage picture today and post this evening.
Thanks, Alana

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 9:42AM
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drusilla

This sounds like glutinosa to me. If the colour is all striated, no areas of red or pink, that would support this too - it often gets nearer being a blotch on nubicola. Mine bloom at the same time so can't help you there.

You're a few hours ahead of me so I'll look for your photo later but you may not get the response till tomorrow!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 10:07AM
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poisondartfrog

Thank you! Here are some foliage photos:

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 6:39PM
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drusilla

OK, it's S nubicola! 100% certain, having seen the leaves and habit. But it sounds stickier than mine - maybe they vary from individual to individual.

I've forgotten which zone you are but nubicola is the less hardy of the two & certainly dislikes wind while it still has its foliage (I've lost them due to that); but both are pretty tough.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 8:26PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

The stickiness in nubicola is caused by resins. As far as I know, glutinosa has no scent or resins, just a lot of hairs that can be velcro-like at times. Salvia darcyi has the worst case of velcro leaves I have experienced.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 9:37PM
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annette68_gw

Funnily enough I find the nubicola more hardy for me, this salvia has adapted to the tropics and is flowering now, glutinosa is the one that I have trouble keeping alive, new seeds have germinated and will try again:)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 10:47PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

This is not so strange to me, because I have had the same luck in North Carolina. I believe nubicola is from sunny slopes in the Himalayas. It even bloomed well during the summer for me.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 11:05PM
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annette68_gw

That would explain it than doing well for us being from a sunny slopes. My nubicola flowers of and on all year round here.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 12:01AM
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drusilla

My experience in a wet temperate climate is that S glutinosa is hardier. Both survive frost but S glutinosa will take any combination of frost, wind and rain (dying back more or less as necessary), whereas nubicola can be killed outright by strong cold winds and won't survive too much frost and wet in combination. As S glutinosa grows at lower altitudes in the Alps this is not too surprising - winter weather there can be foul. It presumably follows too that S nubicola would deal better with hot climates.

As to the stickiness, it definitely is not a velcro effect with the S glutinosa I have grown - the sticky stuff comes off on your hands. Does everyone agree that the plant in the picture is S nubicola, or have I been growing them with the names reversed??

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 11:51AM
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robinmi_gw

Haven't grown either for a while.....not my favourite Salvias....but I would think it is nubicola.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 2:12PM
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poisondartfrog

rich_dufresne's comment regarding the lack of scent associated with glutinosa is helpful.
My plants have a pungent, almost animalistic aroma that I find quite unpleasant.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 6:29PM
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drusilla

Both mine smell - similar but not the same. I like it!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 8:16PM
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poisondartfrog

drusilla, I wish I liked it! It makes me think of urine; coyote or fox, maybe.
S. nubicola seems to be the consensus. I suppose I will have to sow both of them again next season for comparison to be entirely comfortable that I have it right. S. greggii and S. farinacea have been perfectly hardy for me, but this is the first time I have grown either of these so I don't know if this one will still be here come spring.
Thanks to everyone for your help! I enjoy reading the discussion.
Alana

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 8:42AM
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drusilla

This is interesting - the plant I have as S nubicola is definitely the same as yours, but it doesn't smell that strong at all. I do have lots of plants which have that sort of cat's pee (as I call it!) smell that you describe - flowering currant, Mexican orange etc - but no sages. Some are strong and disliked by other people but they all seem to me either fruity (like S microphylla) or sort of warm (like S officinalis, but often a lot stronger). Some of the desert types with a lot of volatile oils have a medicinal sort of smell (like S clevelandii). But we don't get much strong sun here and I reckon they smell different in different climates - much more powerful where it's hot.

I have trouble overwintering S greggii, although it's always described as hardy, and S farinacea is treated as an annual in Britain. It occasionally comes through a very kind winter. I think the key here is wet - a huge number of salvias, even some of the thirsty ones (and including S uliginosa) die in our winters, because they are long and wet and although not (where I live) frosty, there is not enough warmth and sun for things to grow. I overwinter S uliginosa by keeping it pretty dry (and chucking water at it in summer)!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 2:50PM
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