Thursday, September 29, 2011


A year ago I blogged about Salvia pachyphylla (pssst! You're supposed to click on where I said "blogged"...I have a hyperlink that will call up that very blog). I am publishing this blog for several reasons: first off to show you the very same plant growing at the Gardens at Kendrick Lake exactly one year later. Several things should stand out if you compare the two pictures:

1) they were taken at different times of the day, so the plants look really DIFFERENT, even though I swear on a stack of bibles it's the same individual.
2) This is one hell of a clone. Definitely deserves to be propagated and named. (Hint).
3) The aster in last year's picture is missing: Greg Foreman tells me some yahoo dug the sucker up (i.e. stole it). I think that is a very sad commentary on humanity.
4) One of the greatest things that have happened in my life is to be party to the introduction of such stunning plants to general cultivation. Life is good: even though jerks steal plants.
5) Greg Foreman, his incredible colleagues and Kendrick Lake Gardens are among the loveliest people and places on Planet Earth.

I've written more than enough about this Salvia. I have seen it at any number of local nurseries this autumn (even though people tell me it is hard to find). It is worth any effort to obtain and grow--especially those blessed with pedocals and exposed gardens. It is the OFFICIAL plant of Lakewood, Colorado (a very wise town indeed). There are those who dislike the extremely aromatic, pungent (and did I mention fragrant?) foliage: bruise a leaf and you can smell it for yards and for hours. I think it smells terrific. Why are we pumping metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere every few minutes (shame on you, Republicans, for denying manifest truths like evolution and global warming), endangering a fragile planet and our future we are lucky enough to share this sacred earth with salviapaloozas like this. Sigh.


  1. Very Nice! But blooming at the 'wrong' time. Mine has finished blooming, setting seed, dropping seed, haboring a wasp's nest and getting ready for me to pile 5 to 10 feet of snow on top of it.

  2. I love this Salvia. It does well for us in the 4 Corners at 7400' and only gets better with age. Ive never met anyone introduced to it for the first time that did not immediately fall in love with fit too. And it's also one of those deer proofs that all customers are clamoring for all the time. It's also easy from seed and although I've never tried cuttings, I hope the KL clone will root because that's one hell of a clone!
    Maybe Russian sage will have to bow down one of these days soon to make room for all together classier and tougher plant!

  3. Jim: I think your Salvia really is a hybrid with dorrii (if it's the one I'm thinking of)...although the pachyphyllas in Dryland Mesa are also in seed. Nothing like getting pummeled by hail in early summer and good rains to keep a plant blooming, which may explain Kendrick's late glory: it is spectacular there...astonished that it does so well for you, Jeff! It is a tough cookie indeed: hope I will see it in a few days?


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