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Hi everyone, comments on this i feel it is a new hybrid of S. namaensis. I have obtained cuttings of the plant, said to be a chance seedling in a local garden. Foliage and form is similar to namaensis but 2-3 times larger. I have grown S. namaensis and have a shot of cuttings of both side by side as well as some other shots. Flower color is light blue, and growth habit seems bushy to 3-4 feet.
South African Salvias frequently hybridise, and sometimes, superior plants result. In Australia, there is a hybrid of namaensis x africana, named 'Finngrove'. This is a lovely plant, with pale blue flowers. I received a few seeds, only one germinated, and the resulting plant is great, but with mid, almost royal blue flowers.
Hi, no idea yet in the other parent as i have to go through the friend of the garden owner, she lives 8 hrs drive away in Melbourne, dont know yet the exact location on the original seedling plant but it is in Nowra in a large garden near the river here, probably out of town, her holiday retreat. Robin your "Finngrove" X looks lovely, i hope that i see the original Finngrove sometime. Who did you get the seed from?
Well, I am going to do some hybridizing with namaensis! Robin, when you say SA Salvias frequently hybridize, I am assuming you mean in situ? Or are they generally fertile parents with other geographic groups? Or within their subgenus only?
We have namaensis in bloom now. Soon a number of other African species, including a few from SA. Just trying to get some sort of strategy.
Andy Maycen has released a S. namaensis x repens he calls Savana Blue. It turns out to be quite hardy in USDA Zone 7 in Raleigh, and makes a nice little shrub that has some rock garden uses. Repens is also hardy here in the Carolinas.
He came up with it while he lived outside of San Diego.
Chamelaeagnea has shown some resistance to cold. I suspect scabra does also.
I think the hardiness of interspecific hybrids may have more to do with the climate they appear in, especially if they are found sports.
For instance a hybrid of S. involucrata with S. mexicana is quite tender, nowhere as durable as the parents. It arose as a spontaneous sport in a St. Gabriel garden, and does best in the humid Gulf coast area.
The spontaneous hybrids in my North Carolina garden do pretty well in a lot of areas outside of NC, but I have had problems with California hybrids.
I make no claims about hand-pollinated hybrids. These can probably go either way, and need to be trialled. The spontaneous hybrids evidently weed themselves out by the time they are discovered.
Hi Kermit, Rich and others, thanks for the comments and ideas.
Generally i think all will agree hybrids have more vigour than their parents but i think from observation that the "hybrid vigour" would explain apparent greater cold hardiness - it still depends on the parentage and their original habitat. Some genetic variations are present in any population but you couldnt take a tropical plant and expect it to perform well in a mtn top.
Many south african spp seem to have some cold hardiness, S. namaensis, lanceolata, and aurea (formerly africana-lutea) performed well for me at 1000m altitude with lows down to -4 Celcius in winter (sometimes a degree or two less).To give you an idea we got regular frost but only one snowfall usually, of 1 inch or less. Lots of clear nights and wind too.
Hybrids are definatley good news and we seem to get a few down under! S. "African Skies' is one chamalaeagnea hybrid and it is a great bloomer.