My Salvia keerlii.
Is this from the seed I sent you? I've not been as able to collect seed as well as you have.
This winter, the grow light setup will be inside my house proper, where it will get much better attention and warmth. I'd love to start hand pollinating again.
No...I have only propagated this from cuttings, as far as I recall. But, I am forgetful....can't recall original source of this, may have been Christine Yeo.
Thinking again, not always easy, I think I got the plant from Christian Froissart. He said that my plant of S. melissodora was an invalid name, and and an inferior form of Salvia keerlii. I can see the resemblance, grape-scented foliage, but for me, the plants differ...shape, flowering-time, but the flowers do look almost the same! BUT...keerlii is fab!!!!
Wow! Robin. That plant is terrific. It almost looks like a small Lilac.
Robin - on the original pic on your site, you refer to this plant being tender. Do you still consider this to be the case?
Well.....yes and no! Hope that is helpful!
In a sheltered spot it will survive, as it has done for the last 3 years in my garden. Again, good drainage is essential.
Have to do many amendments to my site this winter, when I get the time!
The inflorescences seem a bit fuller than melissodora but I was fooled anyway and it sounds like it is hardier. Perhaps it would have saved me the trouble of digging the 6X6 melissodora last weekend and stuffing on the back porch which now smells like the inside of a pack of grape bubblegum.
When does keerlii begin blooming?
Usually about mid-September in England, sometimes later. Though my old melissodora bloomed on and off all summer, but very inferior to keerlii here. Think that the "old" melissodora requires more heat than is available here to flower well. Saw a superb huge plant, full of flowers in Ginny Hunt's garden a few years ago. I still believe that keerlii is a different species, or, at least, a subspecies.
If I had a proper greenhouse I would consider it. Your experience with melissodora is much the same as mine, teaser flowers all summer and a big show starting in August. Great fall blooming sages are a punishment to those who usually see frost be mid October. The conservatory at a nearby arboretum is currently doing a big display of them during their mum show. I got to see confertiflora for the first time and fell in love. When I see these great displays of perfect plants I want to meet the grower and shake his hand and say thanks.
Here is Ginny's melissodora as of 2008
The full plant is in the preceding image
Here is a link that might be useful: Ginny's melissodora
Richard, your pictoral from Cabrillo College gives a lot of food for thought. Will you be acquiring some of those salvia you think would be useful here in the east? Jean's Passion looks like it might be a good substitute for Purple Majesty which never did well for me. There are too many others to mention here, but several of them seem worth testing.
I saw Ginny's melissodora in her garden. Stunning, but quite different from my keerlii. Could be a subspecies as there are many similarities....grape-scented foliage for one. Unfortunately I discarded my "melissodora" for appalling behaviour in this climate, so cannot compare the flowers......but I LOVE keerlii....still amazing until the 1st frost.
Robin, my Salvia curviflora tried to bloom all of the summer from late July on, and is just now putting out flowers. Evidently, it fails to bloom with our hot, humid summer nights, and S. melissodora loved that same weather.
Ward, I am slowly accumulating the best of these plants. I have several good sized Jean's Purple Passion stock plants. Also the S. macrophylla x sagittata, S. curviflora, S. raymondii ssp. mairanae. All of these need testing in different parts of the US. Trials held in the northeast this year will have to be disregarded because of all the dark, wet, and cool weather.
The weather may explain why the upright Macrophylla, always a reliable seed setter for me, failed to set seed this year. I'll will check again later in the morning. We just had our first hard freeze this morning. The weather in New Jersey wasn't quite as bad as further north but did cause a number of species to bloom later than normal. I will bug you later about plants.