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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.

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

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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

QUESTION:

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

ANSWER:

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

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