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I have had the pleasure of growing out this fine plant for the past two years. It made many flowers in its second year after having survived an extremely wet and cold Delaware winter. It has flowers similar to the other S. przewalskii plant I grew, Robin, perhaps they are the same having come from your collection?
Well, this seems to be just like S. przewalskii. I was told that the var. mandarinorum form had a white lower lip. Maybe it does...but seeds from Chinese species are always hit and miss, unfortunately. I apologise for any disappointments to anyone I sent seeds to.
Maybe I should not mention this, but I will, anyway...Chiltern Seeds were selling seeds of Salvia hians (and we ALL know how almost impossible it is to find the real thing) last year, with an almost accurate description of the plant and flowers...so, "here we go again" , I thought...MAYBE this time...) Turned out to be przewalskii or dolichantha...both closely related...but nothing like the true S. hians. I believe I have the true S. hians, from Christine Yeo...it is a very difficult plant. But the flowers are outstandingly beautiful...for a very short period.
I germinated the last 2 seeds I had from you and maybe one of those plants will make the flowers with the traits you described.
It is a happy plant in my garden and made a vast number of flowers this spring. Its flower is just the size for a bumble bee worker to fit. A queen bumble bee would have a tight squeeze fit. I have absolutely no regrets in growing it and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to do so. I am slowly getting to the gems you sent to me, SL411 is one of which I have 4 strong seedlings. Is it a frost tender plant?
The Plantfiles entry for przewalskii needs to be updated for my Zone 7a plants are hardy here, and the entry has the northern hardiness range of Zone 8.