Rainbow of Salvia x jamensis
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When most Salvia gardeners think about Salvia x jamensis, they visualize pastels. However, development of these Jame Sage hybrids is rapidly expanding to contain a broader range of flower colors from soft to intense and bright. An example is our new series of Jame Sages called Elk Rainbow Sages, which include bright solids, soft pastels and glowing bicolors in blues, pinks, purples, oranges, reds, yellows and whites depending on what Salvias crossed to create them.
However, one unerring distinction between Jame Sages and other hybrid Salvias is that, whatever plants are in the Jame Sage mix, both Autumn Sage ( Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla) parentage is always involved. These species are native to the drylands and mountains of the American Southwest and Mexico. The first ones collected were found as a genetic swarm near the tiny Mexican village of Jame (no s), located in Central Mexico where the eastern and western Sierra Madre mountains meet.
Although the unusual flower colors of Jame Sages are a major key to their identification, other aspects of appearance need to be considered, such as bloom shape, foliage and plant size. Similar to Autumn and Mountain Sage, a Jame Sage has flowers with a wide, skirt-like lower lip.
Although the foliage of Autumn and Mountain Sage vary somewhat in size and appearance, they are good clues when determining the parentage of many Jame Sages. However, some Jame Sages have foliage of different sizes, textures and colors (gray to deep green) than Autumn and Mountain Sage. The lineage of Jame Sages may include species such as Coahuila Sage ( S. coehuilensis), Mexican Sage (S. darcyi) and Canyon Sage (S. lycioides).
Height and spread also indicate differences in parental species. When looking at the entire Jame Sage group, its broad height range -- from 12 to 48 inches -- stands out from both Autumn and Mountain Sage and indicates additional botanical lineage. For example, unlike many plants in the S. greggii/S. microphylla group, some of our shorter Elk Rainbow Sages show promise as groundcovers due to matting growth.
A sage's habit of growth -- such as its cultivation needs and bloom season -- also help to identify it as a Jame Sage versus another kind of Salvia hybrid. For example, Jame Sage hybrids are heat and drought tolerant as are Autumn and Mountain Sage. Regarding sunlight requirements, Jame Sage loves full sun similar to Autumn Sage. But like Mountain Sage, it tolerates more shade and moisture than the other species. As with both key parents, Jame Sage blooms from spring into fall and may slow down in the deep heat of summer.
Finally, similar to both Autumn and Mountain Sage, Jame Sage hybrids are great at attracting tiny wildlife, including hummingbirds.
We developed the Elk Rainbow Series at our farm on the Northern California coast near the town of Elk. Jame Sages adapt well to a cooler, moister climate than that of their semi-arid homelands. Each Jame Sage hybrid that we select for development has Elk in its name. That way you know that it is an FBTS cultivar guaranteed to be a reliable repeat performer.
(Salvia VIBE®'Ignition Purple') Purple once was a color reserved for royalty. Salvia VIBE® 'Ignition Purple' has deep royal purple flowers that are rare in a Jame Sage hybrid. They bloom spring to fall for your enjoyment.
(VIBE® Ignition Sage) Never before have we seen such a pure white among the species to which Jame Sages are related. We love this purity as well as the bright green calyxes supporting the large flowers of Elk White Ice and giving it an overall crisp look.
(Elk Bella Rosa Jame Sage) The large, creamy pink and burgundy flowers of this sage are stately in contrast with its deep green, veined, ovate foliage that is pleasantly fragrant. Elk Bella Rosa is as elegant as its name implies. It's also long blooming.
(Elk Blue Moon II Jame Sage) The phrase "blue moon" signifies a rare event. Elk Blue Moon Jame Sage is an unusual combination for a Salvia x jamensis hybrid -- dusky violet flowers with pale-blue throats, dark blue calyxes and mid-green foliage.
Note: This is a new (2014) cultivar that we chose to replace the original 'Elk Blue Moon'. It is a superior grower, and otherwise very similar.
(Elk Blue Note Sage) In Europe and Australia there is a popular and widely used seed grown Salvia variety called 'Blue Note'. Our offering, 'Elk Blue Note', is the result of several generations of careful breeding and selection.
(Elk Chantily Lace Jame Sage) What color are the flowers of this FBTS introduction? Lavender? Periwinkle? Taffy? Yes to all for this hard to describe but easy to love plant.
(Elk Cotton Candy Jame Sage) Rosy hairs on the upper lip and pale white throats highlight the translucent, blush pink blossoms of Elk Cotton Candy Jame Sage. Dark, deeply contrasting calyxes support the medium-size flowers.
(Elk Crimson King Jame Sage) Sometimes words fail us when trying to describe a unique new color. Definitely red, but with a clear blue overlay and a blue eye. Featuring masses of flowers that delight pollinators, this FBTS introduction is new for 2017.
(Elk Lemon Light Jame Sage) We are proud to offer this luminescent, pure yellow Salvia x jamensis -- a color breakthrough from our own breeding program. The bright, light blossoms cool the landscape similar to white flowers, but with colorful impact. The glossy green leaves are quite small - a very attractive and distinctive characteristic.
(Elk Lush Lavender Jame Sage) Pale white accents mark the throats of this sage's large, rich lavender flowers. In contrast, the calyxes cupping the blossoms are a dark blue-green. Overall, the look is serene.
(Elk Plum Parfait Jame Sage) It's a toss-up as to which are more dramatic -- the deep purple calyxes so dark they almost look black or the plum-colored flowers with pronounced white beelines. Elk Plum Parfait is a rare treat.
(Elk Raspberry Moose Sage) The deep raspberry flowers of this Salvia x Jamensis look good enough to eat, like spoonfuls of a silky, mouthwatering mousse dessert. Yet the 'moose' in its name isn't a misspelling. It refers to flowers that are larger than normal for a Jame Sage.
(Elk Twilight's Rosy Glow Jame Sage) Rosy red hairs accentuate the upper lip of each dusky, salmon-pink blossom of this cheery Jame Sage. The flowers are tiny but abundant and are supported by bright green calyxes.