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Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire' and S. gesneriiflora 'Tequila'

Posted by susanlynne48 OKC7a (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 6, 10 at 18:06

I order the Forest Fire from Smart Seeds - thanks for this referral on the forum. They sent a packet of the S. gesneriiflora (or gesneraeflora, which one is correct cuz I see both on the net) 'Tequila'.

I am not sure about Tequila (not a red, but close enough)because I read that it can be quite thug-like. I know it is not hardy here, but if I decide to grow it, is it possible it may reseed in my zone 7a?

Also have read that Tequila likes a bit more water, is less drought tolerant. Is that true?

If Tequila doesn't fit into my garden, I would be willing to give these seeds to someone who may want them.

Susan


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire' and S. gesneriiflora 'Tequila'

S. g. Tequila is an incredible plant, in my opinion. Yes, it can get big, but you could keep it pruned. There is one in a botanical garden here which causes everyone to stop in their tracks, gawk, and take photos. It is literally a tree, and currently (January!) covered in incredibly bright red flowers. These being held in black calyces, with lime green foliage, makes for a very stunning sight. The flowers are quite large, for a salvia.

Mine just started to bloom in my garden... today was the first fully open flower. Someone else can better help you with hardiness issues. :)


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RE: Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire' and S. gesneriiflora 'Tequila'

We live in Berkeley. Does that botanical garden happen to be the UC Berkeley Botanical garden? Annie's Annuals maintains that S. gesneriiflora requires average water. Either way, I think we'll add one to our garden this year.


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RE: Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire' and S. gesneriiflora 'Tequila'

Yes, do add one to your garden! The garden I mentioned is in Oakland, at Lake Merritt, but I'm sure that UCB has an equally spectacular specimen. :) The year-round (in CA) Anna's hummingbirds will thank you next winter.

to the OP: if smartseeds made a mistake, I'm sure they'd be glad to send you some S. coccinea Forest Fire to rectify the problem. I want to try those, as well; they look more interesting than S. coccinea Lady in Red.


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RE: Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire' and S. gesneriiflora 'Tequila'

A long time ago, I saw a huge Tequila at the Huntington Library and Botanical Garden. It seemed to be 25 feet tall. The patch of S. madrensis was cut back, but could not have been totally covered up by driving a pickup truck over it. This was in the early 80s.

Tequila won't be hardy in USDA zone 7, and will want to bloom in December or January in any case.


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RE: Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire' and S. gesneriiflora 'Tequila'

Okay, so that won't work for me cuz nothin is in bloom in January here.

Smart Seeds just sent the Tequila seeds as a freebie. I got the Forest Fire seeds, but what about this plant? Does it bloom well too?

I'd also like to hear from some of the gardeners east of the Rockies as to how Forest Fire does for them. I know you Californians can grow about every kind of Salvia, including the winter bloomers. (Envy, jealosy)

Daniel do you want my Tequila seed?

Susan


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RE: Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire' and S. gesneriiflora 'Tequila'

Forest Fire is another coccinea and if I recall correctly is the same color but a bit shorter than the infamous Lady in Red. It will bloom heavily for you and volunteer generously. You hummingbirds will like it. The only downside from a hummingbird point of view is that in hot weather the flower wilt in the afternoon. The species is very forgiving but can be somewhat stunted in very barren conditions. If you are considering annual sages you might try Salvia subrotunda. I believe Select Seeds sells the seeds.


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RE: Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire' and S. gesneriiflora 'Tequila'

Thanks, Wardda! My only concern about S. subrotunda was its propensity to reseed prolifically, as discussed on another thread. I also want to try S. darcyi if I can find seed for it, too.

Anything that reseeds can be winter sown which is what I plan to do with Forest Fire.

Susan


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RE: Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire' and S. gesneriiflora 'Tequila'

Subrotunda never seemed any worse than coccinea - they are both welcome weeds for me. I like its size and vigor and usually grow it in a mixed patch with Verbena bonariensis and Nicotian mutabilis. I double checked and Select Seeds doesn't have subrotunda.


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RE: Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire' and S. gesneriiflora 'Tequila'

I think it is still a little too early for seed of Salvia subrotunda to find its way into a catalog, so salvia enthusiasts will still need individual suppliers.


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RE: Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire' and S. gesneriiflora 'Tequila'

I thought I saw it offered somewhere last year, but my memory isn't to be trusted. It is such a happy plant, so willing to take up residence, that it seems like it has been around forever, but it hasn't. Was it about 7 years ago that it began to be traded around among salvia nuts and hummingbird crazy gardeners? It couldn't have been much more than 10.


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RE: Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire' and S. gesneriiflora 'Tequila'

I think it was more like 4 to 5 years. It was brought into the US by John Nolan of Lenexa, KS back in 2003 or so. I found out about it in November 2004 from Nancy Newfield, then got my first seed from John in 2005.


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RE: Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire' and S. gesneriiflora 'Tequila'

That seems about right, Nancy gave me my seed too.


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RE: Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire' and S. gesneriiflora 'Tequila'

The Sample Seed Shop (http://sampleseeds.com/) has subrotunda seeds for sale. I have no connection other than being a very satisfied customer. Prices are very reasonable and turnaround and feedback on the processing of your order is first rate.- June


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RE: Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire' and S. gesneriiflora 'Tequila'

Ooh, thank you, June! I have read some good reviews on The Sample Seed store and will give them a try!

Susan


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