Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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?

Share

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

Monday - January 09, 2006

From: San Francisco, CA
Region: California
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: About Salvia superba
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

About 10 years ago, nurseries were offering a small salvia, called salvia superba or meadow sage. A few years later, "May Night" and "Blue Hill" appeared on the market similar to this first salvia superba but both were taller (salvia superba gets to 12"). I am trying to find a correct identification for this shorter salvia for an article on drought tolerant plants. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Salvia x superba Stapf [sylvestris x villicaulis] (synonym Salvia virgata) is an introduced species. Non-native plants are not really in our purview; however, I will suggest a couple of web sites that might help you find some clarification. One is for 'May Night' Meadow Sage which is listed as either Salvia x sylvestris or S. x superba. There certainly does seem to be confusion about the proper botanical name. Another web site has links to several people doing research on the genus Salvia.

You should be aware that S. x superba (S. virgata) is on the "A" list of noxious weeds in California. The statement for "A" reads: "Eradication, containment, rejection, or other holding action at the state-county level. Quarantine interceptions to be rejected or treated at any point in the state." The California Department of Food and Agriculture gives more information about Meadow Sage (S. virgata). It doesn't sound like something you would want to recommend to be used as a drought tolerant plant.
 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Advocacy of non-native plants.
December 10, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Instead of asking a question, I would like to comment on the seemingly discouraging tone on growing plants or trees out of their native habitat that I have observed from rea...
view the full question and answer

Introduced invasive Melia azedarach along Shoal Creek in Austin
April 17, 2007 - Along the Shoal Creek Trail in Austin are many flowering trees with sparse clusters of small pink/purple, star-shaped flowers with a dark red center stalk, blooming now in April. They have a fragrance...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of invasive Florida betony from Myrtle Beach SC
April 28, 2012 - How can I get rid of Florida Betony from my lawn and flower beds/ garden area. Garden area was thoroughly dug up and hand picked of all tubules last year at least a foot deep. They are much worse now....
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of invasive grasses in backyard
July 17, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, How do I rid my yard of invasive grasses? I am finding Bermuda, stickers, crabgrass and maybe even Johnson grass throughout my backyard. The invasion is substantial in one 200+...
view the full question and answer

Controlling non-native Pennisetum frutescens (Naked fountain grass)
December 07, 2014 - Three years ago I bought a pennisetum frutescans grass from a reputable online nursery. It gets no supplemental water, but it is taking over my yard. It is almost 7 feet wide now. Can you tell me how ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.