Whether planned or accidental, hybrids happen. Salvia x jamensis are hybrids of the closely related Southwestern and Mexican species of Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla). Many are favorite butterfly and hummingbird gardening plants.
The Autumn and Mountain Group of sages are known for bright red, orange and purple flowers. But when they cross to form Salvia x jamensis, they often create mellow pastel hybrids. This is a rare event in the wild due to Salvia greggii and Salvia microphylla being native to different areas of the Southwest and Mexico.
In their homelands the two species meet in isolated mountain-top ridges called "sky islands." They also cross by chance, and by purpose, in plant nurseries and horticultural research programs.
We like to call Salvia x jamensis Jame Sages, because plant researchers in 1991 found the first swarm of these hybrids near the village of Jame (pronounced HA MAY) in north-central Mexico. Similar to other plants in the Autumn and Mountain Sage Group, they tolerate heat and drought.