En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - February 22, 2014

From: Kerrville, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Salvia farinacea and rust fungus from Kerrville TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Are Henry Duelberg salvias (Salvia farinacea)susceptible to rust fungus?


The best we can tell, Salvia farinacea 'Henry Duelberg' is an older cultivar of Salvia farinacea (Mealy blue sage). When you follow the plant link to our webpage on this plant, you will find this phrase:

"Wet soil will make the plant leggy and weak." This might motivate you to be sure the plant in not grown in too much shade or too wet a soil, as that could be favorable to fungi.

We went to Dave's Garden on this plant and found several favorable comments on the plant and no mention of rust fungus.

Other commentaries on the plant came from Aggie Horticulture and Denton County Master Gardeners.

From About.com, here is an article on rust fungus, which does not mention Salvia as being one of the target plants. If the fungus is in the area where you are growing plants, it might attack, but we feel that Kerr County, in the Texas Hill Country, is dry enough that the possibility would not be large. This USDA Plant Profile Map shows that Salvia farinacea (Mealy blue sage) grows natively there, and seems unlikely to suffer from the rust fungus. 


From the Image Gallery

Mealy blue sage
Salvia farinacea

Mealy blue sage
Salvia farinacea

Mealy blue sage
Salvia farinacea

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Plants for soil with basalt outcroppings in Idaho
March 30, 2008 - We have basalt (lava) outcropping in part of our back yard and know we'll have to search for pockets of soil in which to plant. Any suggestions about what trees or shrubs would have a chance in thes...
view the full question and answer

Foundation plants for Albuquerque.
July 01, 2012 - Hello, I live in Albuquerque. I am looking for some native/xeric low water usage plants for foundation plants for my home. They will be foundation plants for a two story home that has a large ponde...
view the full question and answer

Planting horsetail indoors from Collierville TN
November 12, 2012 - I would like to plant horsetail indoors. Can it handle the inside? Will it try to go dormant or it that a temperature trigger which means it will not go dormant?
view the full question and answer

Ducks and geese resistant plants for a pond in PA.
July 08, 2013 - We have a pond in all shade and we have ducks and geese. We would like to plant something in the space between the walkway and the pond to add color, but they have eaten everything we've tried- fern...
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers & Shrubs for Shade in North Carolina
April 30, 2013 - Mr Smarty Pants, My neighbor planted cypress trees as a border between his yard and ours and it is sucking up every drop of water and nutrient. We also have a purple plum in the area which creates ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center