Submitted by Fermi on Sun, 12/08/2013 - 06:12

Salvias are a mainstay of summer gardens here. Recently we got this one as 'Celestial Blue', a hybrid from Salvia clevelandii and possibly S. pachyphylla and S.leucophylla.

It doesn't look as red in the calyces as the pics on the interweb, but it might just be this selection - otherwise it's possibly just Salvia clevelandii! It's certainly doing well, so we don't mind whatever it is!




Submitted by Fermi on Mon, 12/09/2013 - 19:40

Salvia chamaedryoides does well in a raised bed in our garden and increases by runners as well as by seed.

It does better when it gets some water through summer but can survive with very little,

Salvia chamaedryoides Salvia chamaedryoides



Mmm good, I like both Salvias, particularly S. chamaedryoides, the combination of silver foliage and blue flowers is a winning combo. I see myself one day going big time into Salvia.

Submitted by RickR on Mon, 12/09/2013 - 21:47

Really like Salvia chamaedryoides .... zone 7, sigh....


But maybe Lori has tried it?

No, I only have a couple of the Turkish salvias.  That one's a beaut!  I'm sure enjoying your gardens, Fermi - it's clear that you grow EVERYTHING!! yes

Submitted by kmitchell on Mon, 01/06/2014 - 09:36

re:Salvias I also garden in Australia & have been a member of NARGS for only 2 years. I lurk in the background, not having the confidence to post. But, I love salvias so much, here goes.I live near Sydney but am currently looking for property south in a cooler climate, as our humidity is oppressive, yet our water supply limited. I have a small salvia & rare plant nursery & 1.5 acres of garden & currently grow over 300 different species & cultivars of salvia. Seeing the quality of Fermi's plants makes me wish these American salvias did better for me. Leucophylla is great here, but I've not been game to try 'Celestial Blue'. Some of the Turkish salvias do well here if planted in terracotta & plunged. Taraxicifolia I love for the foliage/calyces that smell like sherbet to me.. Pachyphylla is deadly here, but I love it so I keep trying. Am just about to sow 20 or so new Turkish salvias(new to me that is) so have all my fingers & toes crossed. Kerry

Submitted by Fermi on Mon, 01/06/2014 - 16:49

In reply to by kmitchell

Hi Kerry,

welcome to the Forum!

I'd love to hear about your nursery! Can you send me an e-mail ( - replace the "AT' with the @ symbol) ?

What are the names of the salvias you've posted? The first looks like what we have here as S. daghestanica/canescens and the second like a new one we got last year as "the Sand Sage"! There's plenty of interest in Salvias in Victoria if you decide to head down this way - do you belong to the Salvia Study Group?

30 new Turkish Salvias! I wish you the best of luck and hope to hear more about them in the future,



Submitted by kmitchell on Mon, 01/06/2014 - 20:10

In reply to by Fermi

Thanks Fermi, Oops! I still need to learn more about posting. I thought if you scrolled the mouse over the photos the names would show. The first is canescens v. daghestanica. The 2nd is the South African Salvia lanceolata. The 3rd is nemorosa/superba (?) 'Snow Hills'. All are terrific, floriferous little salvias that have more cold tolerance than many other salvias.Yes I do belong to the Salvia Study Group-they are a great group. Kerry

Hi, Kerry, and welcome!  Glad you got up the nerve to join us!   Love to see more of your plants.  The second one certainly is an unusual colour!

"I thought if you scrolled the mouse over the photos the names would show."  Yes, that's what's supposed to happen though I don't think it's ever worked for me.

Submitted by RickR on Mon, 01/06/2014 - 23:13

Hello Kerry!

Gosh, with your experience, I hope you will be a mainstay here!

  As you know, we have new rock gardeners and experienced ones here.

All are welcome, and all can be valuable contributors!

Submitted by kmitchell on Tue, 01/07/2014 - 07:27

Hi Lori, Got lots of lovely photos. I have an addiction to plants, not just salvias. The salvias are the mainstay of my garden, but many of them are not alpine or rock garden plants so I didn't think they would be of interest to NARGS members. This 1st photo is Salvia 'Cookie', a hybrid of  chamaedryoides, but it doesn't have the lovely silvery foliage but flowers almost all year in my climate.

I uploaded 4 photos as embedded images but they don't seem to be here??? I'll upload them tomorrow as attached images. Kerry


(Moderator edit:  Hi, Kerry.  I inserted the photos for you.  For the photos to show up in the message, you have to place the cursor where you want the photo, then click on "Insert".  I also added the plant names below.  Thanks for posting!  Lori)

Salvia 'Cookie';  Salvia 'African Skies'; Salvia denata; Salvia indica


We love Salvia here too Kerry, and so do our bees, wink. Hope you'll continue to post more information re the species you grow and how best to grow them. We're looking forward to learning, yes

Hi Kerry,

you might be able to help identify this Salvia which came up in a bed where we'd scattered seed a few years ago; it forms a rosette of foliage and sends up 2 foot stems topped with small purple flowers,

unknown herbaceous salviaunknown herbaceous salvia



Submitted by kmitchell on Fri, 01/10/2014 - 04:15

In reply to by Fermi

Hi Fermi, It kooks like a lovely salvia. The flowers look quite large. There are so many basal type salvias with purple flowers & some are very difficult to tell apart. The elusive salvia hians often turns up with plain purple flowers when it should have some white in the flower. It usually turns out to be przewalskii. Particularly good forms of S. ringens can have flowers this large, but most are smaller & quite weedy . If the foliage is narrow & the growth floppy instead of upright it could be S. transylvanica.  I've got 1 or 2 other ideas, I'll ask a couple of friends & see if they concur. Cheers, Kerry


Hi Lori, Got lots of lovely photos. I have an addiction to plants, not just salvias. The salvias are the mainstay of my garden, but many of them are not alpine or rock garden plants so I didn't think they would be of interest to NARGS members.


Kerry, we are not all solely alpine or rock garden enthusiasts! I for instance am more a woodlander due to my climate although I do like all kinds of plants. Please show your whole spectrum!

Submitted by kmitchell on Wed, 04/30/2014 - 06:34

Sorry it's taken so long to reply Fermi. Selling our house has put everything else on hold. Maybe the purple salvia is regeliana-the right height & colour, but the individual flowers in your photo look to be quite a bit larger than those of regeliana. Plants in our garden are in flower at the moment. Another beauty in flower at the moment is the Japanese woodlander S. koyame. The flowers are a wonderful soft, buttery yellow & are quite large for a ground hugging plant.

Salvia koyame

Salvias semi atrata 

Salvia semi atrata

& sinaloensis also look wonderful at the moment.

Salvia sinaloensis

Submitted by kmitchell on Wed, 10/29/2014 - 04:11

Salvia discolor is another interesting salvia with unusual colouring.  It has very dark navy, almost black, flowers on sticky, silver stems. It hails from Peru, but can be a bit frost tender.



Salvia glechomifolia from the high mountains of Mexico. Creeping along the groungd it grows to only 30cm in height, will take some cold & has blue-violet flowers through summer.



that's a cute little salvia; does it need much water during summer?

Here's another South African - Salvia muirii

Salvia muirii Salvia muiriiSalvia muirii



Submitted by Lori S. on Sun, 11/02/2014 - 13:29

In reply to by Fermi

Salvia nutans, grown from seed last year, bloomed this July... not one for the rock garden (at over 3' tall) but very nice:



Salvia kuznetzovii - another tall one, not for the rock garden - bloomed in its first season from seed, late this summer.  (Funny, last time I looked this name up at The Catalogue of LIfe a couple of  months ago, it said it was properly referred to as Salvia pratensis var. caucasica.  Now it says Salvia kuznetzovii is the accepted name.  Wow, one needs a constant feed to these taxonomic sites to keep up - the names change faster than prices on the stock exchange!)




Submitted by kmitchell on Mon, 11/03/2014 - 04:26

In reply to by Fermi

Hi Fermi, S. glechomifolia needs a bit of water if it is in a sunny spot. In Sydney it does better in high shade, where it is survives on no more water than muirii. Regards, Kerry



Lepechinia salviae is sometimes sold as a salvia and behaves like one in this newly renovated bed. We got this plant in September and it's over 3 foot tall tall and just coming into flower,

Lepechinia salviae Lepechinia salviae Lepechinia salviae



[quote=Lori S.]

Nice plant, Fermi.  I had not even heard of the genus!


Hi Lori,

Robert in California tells me that there are local species of Lepechinia,

I'll be on the outlook for some from his area as they should do well here!



In the middle pic of the Lepechinia above you can see a Salvia leucantha keeping pace with it, so definitely not one for the rock garden.

It's the selection known as 'Velour White' and it's now starting to flower

Salvia leucantha 'Velour White'Salvia leucantha 'Velour White'

We hope to get this one to survive our winter frosts; earlier attempts with the type species were not successful despite not having severe frosts!