Beware! Don’t get caught out!

We seem to be flooded with a whole host of new varieties of Salvias, most of which are microphylla / greggii combinations.

We have also recently noticed that some large Nurseries are not recognising well established Salvia species or have the habit of placing Cultivar names on the end of species to help with the marketing of that particular Salvia.

Balls Australia have for some time not recognised the ‘ greggii‘ group of Salvias, instead they have incorporated all of the ‘greggii’s under the banner of their broad ‘Navajo ‘ Assorted range of Salvias.

Now it seems that Balls Aust. are actually naming individual ‘greggii’s in the ‘Navajo’ range. This is what you might find in your Bunnings store or your local nursery:

S. Navajo ‘White’ = S. greggii ‘Alba’

S. Navajo ‘Rose’  = S. greggii ‘Raspberry Royale’

S. Navajo ‘Pink’  =  S. greggii ‘Sierra Pink’  (PGA)

The original Navajo series were: S. ‘Navajo Red’, S.’ Navajo Cream’, and S.’ Navajo Purple’

Haars Aust. were also were marketing some Salvias a few years ago under their banner of “Garden Jewels”. . It was here we found a Salvia that  = S. greggii ‘Cerise Jewel’. We have propagated this variety for the last 5 years, the variety coming originally from Qld.
Under this banner of  Garden Jewels is a beautiful new mauve Salvia ( unnamed) which we named S. ‘Navajo Dusky Mauve’. It turns out , that this lovely mauve Salvia is actually one of the ‘Mesa Range’, promoted by  ‘Natural Selections’- ‘Mesa Azure’.

From the Natural Selection brand there is the Mesa Range of Salvias which includes  ‘Mesa Scarlet’, ‘Mesa Rose’, ‘Mesa Azure’

These are small shrubs that are fairly nondescript, except for the mauve ‘Meza Azure’. ‘Mesa Scarlet   looks extremely  like ‘ Navajo Red’ but with different leaves. ‘Mesa Rose’s flowers and leaves  looking similar to other microphylla varieties already available. So, beware of new cultivar names, observe what you have in your garden, and check your labels.

We have found another Purple Salvia under the banner of Garden Jewels – a seedling from ‘Mesa Azure’.  This will be ‘Purple Jewel’, a beautiful dark purple, compact Salvia, approx  40-60cm

Also found under this banner was a Red Salvia – a good compact bright red Salvia  = ‘Red Beacon’

(Branch of the Herb Society of Victoria Inc.)