A collection of Salvia leaves

Hi there!

When people find out that I grow a lot of Salvia’s, most of them think that I have a lot of the annual ‘Bonfire’ Salvia.  Not so!  There is not one ‘Bonfire’ Salvia in my garden.  I suppose it doe’s have its place in a garden somewhere though.  There is approximately 900-1100 species of Salvia around the world, this depends on what literature you read.  Then there’s countless thousands of hybrids and cultivars with an amazing array of names.  Below I have included just a few pictures of the leaves of Salvia’s to show you how varied they are.  They range in size from a couple of millimetres to 30cm, from silvers/greys to bright/dark greens and other colours, glossy to furry which makes them look white,, from entire leaves to heavily serrated jagged leaves, crazy shapes and more.  If you were to have a look at every Salvia, I’m sure there would be even more interesting leaves than the one’s I have.  Leaves can tell us lots of things, what habitats there from and the conditions they like and many more things.  Anyway, check out these Salvia leaves from my garden.



Mistaken Identity

Hi there!

Having planted Salvia subpalmatinervis in the garden in the last six months, I was looking forward to it flowering sometime soon.  It had been sitting in my nursery just producing leaves and I thought it was past time to get it into the ground.  Well!  A week or so ago it started to put up a flowering stem.  Yes!  I’m thinking, here we go!!  Then it flowered,,,, my heart sank.  From a distance it didn’t look quite what I was expecting.  The photo’s I had seen of subpalmatinervis were of a pinkish coloured flower and quite tubular in shape.  As I moved in for a closer look my disappointment grew.  What I had before me was a blue flower with big white guidelines just like S. forskaholei.


I consulted an expert and I got the same diagnoses, I had a ring in.  The mystery deepened, I needed to have a really close look at this imposter.  The closer inspection confirmed I had S. forskaholei and this was backed up by the foliage.  Hang on!  There’s slightly different leaves here as well.  What the!


Lo and behold I have two different p[plants in the same hole.  By the look of it I still have S. subpalmatinervis which is taking a back seat somewhat while S. forskaholei flowers its heart out.  Yes, S. forskaholei can seed around a bit, so I can only presume that while S. subpalmatinervis was languishing in its pot before planting that a seed of S. forskaholei managed to find its way into this particular pot.  The intruder will move to a new home and stop renting with S. subpalmatinervis.


Why did I not see this before?  I think the forskaholei leaves when young were a similar shape(roughly speaking), the colour and texture of the leaves is nearly identical.  Above photo shows leaves of subpalmatinervis and below photo is forskaholei.


Mix the two together and you get this, see below.


That’s why botanists use every part of a plant to identify it – flowers, seed, leaves, stems, bark and even the roots.  What’s the moral of the story here?  None actually but if you want to analyse it to the nth degree, there was excitement, anticipation, disappointment, bemusement, hilarity and a fair bit of amusement, especially now.

Still waiting for that subpalmatinervis to flower!



Hi There!

It’s great to see the high summer temperatures coming down to a more enjoyable 25-30 degree’s and especially the cooler overnight temperatures.  The humans enjoy the milder autumn weather as do the plants.  A lot of Salvia’s are coming into bloom now and ‘Anthony Parker’ is looking fantastic and it won’t be long and it will be flowering.  The karwinskii varieties are large Salvia’s which mostly flower in late Autumn/Winter and these are putting on lots of growth ready to flower soon.  A lot of the greggii hybrids are in flower including ‘Musk Pink’, ‘Sensation’, ‘Quirky Colleen’, ‘Raspberry’, ‘Red Beacon’.  Salvia juriscii with its interesting foliage and upside down flowers is blooming nicely.


Below is Salvia juriscii with its heavily dissected leaves which nearly look fern leaves.  Yes I know its blurry, but you get the picture!



There you go!  How’s that one? A bit clearer  I think.  On the subject of the weather, some rain would be appreciated now so the tank starts to fill again and then I wouldn’t have to water so much.  Never happy us gardeners.  Here’s a collection of Salvia’s in flower and other plants of course.


Plants start to feel the change in the weather at this time of year and it won’t be long and we will start to see the real marker of Autumn, deciduous colours.  those lovely reds, oranges, yellows and other leaf colours.  That’s what Autumn is really about for me.


Above is ‘Quirky Colleen’ in flower looking good.  Below is a close up.


Here’s ‘Desert Blaze’ below with its bright red flowers and variegated leaves.  Variegated foliage is not my thing and I think I only have two plants with variegated leaves.  Both being Salvia’s, go figure!


Here’s a close up of its flower.


Below is ‘Angels Wings” with its lovely pale to mid pink flowers.



A dusting of icing sugar comes to mind, not sure why.  Why is it when you see an object or picture that an odd description can pop into your mind which may or may not have a connection? The power of the mind I suppose.


Here’s Salvia radula about to come into bloom with its beautiful white flowers.


‘Royal Bumble’ above and  we finish with Agastache auranitica below, which surprising is not a Salvia but is in the same family Lamiaceae,  Sort of like cousins.  An interesting fact for you!  Plants that are in the Lamiaceae family have square stems or loosely stems with four corners.  Check out your mint plants!