I had a nice summer growing Salvia darcyi and watching the hummingbirds work the red flowers. I got the starter plant from Richard DuFresne's nursery.
Now to see if it will survive a Zone 7a winter.
Wilmington, Delaware USA
The photo disappeared when I edited the post.
Here is mine with some S.greggii growing among it. This plant is 3 years old doubles every year and survived 0 here in the mountains of Arizona. I do throw a blanket over it in the cold times(no winter here:). I see there is some S. elegans in the photo to the right, this one goes into the barn at 34 degrees.
Very nice. Just how col;d has it been for your darcyi? I would love more real tolerance numbers from gardeners.
Panayoti Kelaidis of the Denver Botanical Gardens has seen it do well in Colorado.
He wrote up some experiences in the blog Prairie Break. Check the comment section also. I need to contact Acantholimon
Here is a link that might be useful: Burning Bush: Salvia Darcyi?
I had mixed results maybe 6 or 7 years ago. My home garden is in a cold spot in 7a and there it didn't survive the winter. Another plant was taken to a public garden in Cape May County NJ where it is a bit warmer, close to 7b, and there it survived for several years. I do wonder what soil conditions it likes other than dry in winter. Recently I have seen several reports of plants surviving zone 5 winters in the midwest but recent winters have also been warmer than normal.
Thanks for the info. For us, in general, plants in our very well drained sandy loam survive much lower temps than those in silty-clay or clay loam. We have had S. dorisiana stay in flower (but with burned leaves) at 16 degrees in sand, but die to the ground where the feet are wetter.
Kermit, it is true for us here too. The reason I ask the question is that the park's gardens have some areas with the poorest dry soil I have ever seen in the east off a sand dune. One area by the nature center building won't grow microphylla San Carlos Festival more than 6 inches tall.
I believe the key is dry feet when cold temperatures are around. I also grow S. apiana, and S.clevelandii, with great results.
Dry feet it is, thanks for the feedback.
I'll second that for Salvia greggii x karwinskii from UC Riverside. The Daniel Stowe BG outside Charlotte, NC lost one in damp clay soil, and the one growing in a raised sandy area survived. Some high-quality humus in the soil (not mineral fertilizer) also contributes to longevity.
Salvia darcyi has survived several 7A winters in my raised bed. It has become a huge giant...need another raised bed for my other salvias. I don't cut anything back until spring. We do get wet winters here (North Carolina) and it has survived temps in the single digits. I don't protect it at all.
Salvia darcyi doesnt seem to like my zone 6 winters. I havent gotten one thru yet but we will see what this spring brings. Although lately my winters would more resemble 7a.
Like a previous poster said I also had a giant in an area that you wouldnt even think it could grow , a 2' square of soil surrounded by concrete on all sides. This turned out to be my largest one yet at about 6' in all directions. Its been a few years since my giant but heres some shots of it. Havent grown one near that scope sent then.
Here it is just beginning to get its wings, notice concrete all around it.
here it is spreading more about to take over my garage and starting to look a little ratty.
Nice pictures, hummersteve. We have been growing the trademarked variety Vermilion Bluffs(r) whose proper name is Salvia darcyi 'Pscarl'. Problem is our pictures from last year suck. Anyone growing this clone? We really like it!
Kermit, do you know Panayoti Kelaidis of the Denver Botanical Garden? He's written about this plant on his Prairiebreak blog.
I very much hope he'll attend the Salvia Summit this MArch
Here is a link that might be useful: Salvia Vermillion Bluffs introduction
He is the last speaker on Friday: http://www.seedhunt.com/program.htm
Kermit and others
I would say mine grows in silty clay loam as opposed to the sandy loam you mention, thats a thought I may have to try.
When a raised bed is mentioned what exactly are you referring to and how is it achieved? The only experience I have with a raised bed is boxing in a 20" area for honeysuckle plants in low areas. It seems that raised beds would be more exposed to the weather or are you saying that raised beds are just so they are not water retentive.
Raised beds are advantageous for drainage, especially where the native soils are horrid clays and ill drained highly organic types. In those difficult-to-use soils the tactic of amending in the planting hole (no matter how large) just creates a place for water to collect. In marginal soils I have had success by mounding - that is planting at the top of a gently sculpted mound of native soil perhaps five feet across and six inches high at the top. Sometimes that is all that is needed.