En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Question about Salvia coccinea photos in the Native Plant Database

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Monday - June 29, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: User Comments
Title: Question about Salvia coccinea photos in the Native Plant Database
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

A search for Salvia coccinea in the database resulted in some of the pictures showing frostweed crystals ('am assuming that is an error), as well as some white and bicolor pastel pink & white blooms. Can S. coccinea have that much variation in color?

ANSWER:

All of the photos you mention from our Native Plant Database are indeed Salvia coccinea (blood sage).  One of our experts, Joe Marcus, took the photos showing the ice crystals that do look like the ice crystals that form from the sap of Verbesina virginica (frostweed).  Here is what he says about them:

"I remember taking the picture and being very surprised at what I was seeing - and photographing.  I think it did the frostweed-y thing because the tops of the plants had recently been sheared and the stems were still alive and full of water.  In other words, the conditions under which the Salvia would produce the ice ribbons were very specific and very unusual.  I wanted to capture the evidence that it could happen - in rare circumstances - and that is what I did."
 
Also, although the majority of plants of the species have red blossoms, there are different color varieties of S. coccinea. The pink and white flowered one is a cultivar, but we're not sure which one.  The most common cultivar with flowers this color is one called 'Coral Nymph' (sometimes marketed as 'Cherry Blossom'), but there may also be other pink and white cultivars. 


Salvia coccinea

Salvia coccinea

Verbesina virginica

Verbesina virginica

Verbesina virginica

Salvia coccinea

Salvia coccinea

Salvia coccinea
 

More User Comments Questions

Authenticity of a vendor from Pensacola FL
December 26, 2012 - Can you verify the authenticity of Alex Jones as someone who can help us?
view the full question and answer

Comment from user on Smarty Plants answer
February 12, 2013 - Dear Mr.S I received a very thorough answer to my question about trimming native butterfly plants and wanted to thank you. I see that Ann Van Nest answered the question. I intended to give the reply...
view the full question and answer

Collection dates for Charles Wright in Texas on Flame acanthus page.
September 27, 2010 - Mr. SP- there is a date error for Charles Wright's collection time period in Texas, at least on the Flame Acanthus page of wildflower.org. It states, "The species name of this plant is for Charles W...
view the full question and answer

Chile Pequin growing well in Charleston SC
January 28, 2013 - Not really a question. I have successfully grown from seed Chile Pequins I picked up in Texas here in Charleston Sc. They are so hardy they come back from their stalks each year and sprout from seeds ...
view the full question and answer

True date for Earth Day
March 09, 2006 - My grandson asked me to verify the correct date for Earth Day 2006. Sites on the internet say (a) Earth Day USA is April 22, 2006. (b) International Earth Day is M...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center