Name Changes 2008/ 09
Name changes are constantly occurring as more botanists are revising the genus and discovering the correct name for many of out unnamed Salvias.
This time last year I reported the following name changes that I had received via email from Robin Middleton in England:
S. praeclara is now S. exserta
S. meyeri is now S. rhinosa
S. gilliesii is now S. cuspidata subsp. gilliesii
S. sp from Chiapas is now S. univerticillata
S. cruickshanksii (what we called ‘Kathe’ previously) is now S. flocculosa
S. melissodora is now S. keerli
To these I should now add the following:
S. africana caerulea should be called S. africana
S. africana lutea should be called S. aurea
S. cadmica is now S. virgata
S. fallax is now S. roscida
S. oresbia should be called S. darcyi
S. ‘Michoacan’ is now S. clinopodioides
S. ‘Red Dragon’ is probably S. cardinalis, although this in turn may be a form of S. fulgens
S. melissodora IS NOT S. keerlii after all – see below.
Following the publication of Christian Froissart’s new book, “La Connaissance des Sauges”, the rationale for these changes, (together with some other name standards that are accepted overseas), has been established and is described below. Christian is one of the foremost world specialists on the genus Salvia, and he has determined his name corrections after scrutinising herbarium specimens and original descriptions.
Following the publication of Christian Froissart’s new book, “La Connaissance des Sauges”, the rationale for these changes, (together with some other name standards that are accepted overseas), has been established and is described below. Christian is one of the foremost world specialists on the genus Salvia, and he has determined his name corrections after scrutinising herbarium specimens and original discriptions
S. africana syn africana caerulea
Christian Froissart explains that Linnaeus used this specific epithet in his first edition of Species Plantarum, but in his second edition, he had changed this to S. africana, a name which conforms to the rules for naming that he had prescribed himsellf. For this reason, the current, contemporary usage should be the latter – ie S. africana.
S. aurea syn africana lutea
This plant was initially named in 1753, but was finally given the name S. aurea, in 1762, following the process mentioned above. The name ‘aurea’ refers to the colour of the flowers when they first emerge.
S.roscida syn fallax
According to Christian, the correct name for this species, named by Fernald in the early 1900s, is S. roscida. And ‘fallax’ is a mistake. S. ‘roscida’ is also the name which appears on Robin Middleton’s website.
S. cuspidate spp gilliesii
There is no mention of this name change in Christian’s book. So, for now at least, we can retain this name, or go with S. cuspidate ssp gilliesii.
In spite of Christian’s confirmation in his book that S. melissodora and S. keerlii are synonymous, it transpires (see Salvia Association of Australia newsletter for Jan 2009) that at the Cabrillo Summit in August (a few months after Christian’s book was released) they were determined to be separate species after all. So S. melissodora stays that way.
Tthe plant S. keerlii syn ‘Lassie’, which has been awaiting a species name, is in fact S. keerlii. S. lasiantha is not yet available in Australia as far as we know.
S. rhinosina syn meyeri
According to Christian, the plant that has been cultivated for a long time with this name should be called, S. rhinosina. The name ‘meyeri’ does not appear on Epling’s list. Christian describes the colour of the corolla as pale blue, with white marking on the lower lip near the opening of the throat. On p 12 of Robin’s website, he describes another form with pure blue flowers. Maybe there is confusion because of different forms although flower colour is not an accepted diagnostic for plant identification. Significantly, a seedling plant I gave to Jillian, from seeds acquired from Robin, turned out white!
S. darcyi syn oresbia
This one is truly political! Apparently the botanist James Compton was shown this plant on a collection expedition in 1988. He subsequently described it, naming it S. darcyi in honour of fellow British botanist William d’Arcy. He evidently ignored the fact that this plant had been known by the name ‘oresbia’ for some time, according to some, and also by the name ‘Schafnerii’ according to others. It appears that ‘darcyi’ is the accepted name in the UK (Robin’s website, Christine Yeo’s book), in France (Christian Froissart’s new book) and in the USA (Betsy Clebsch). Sue Templeton has always used this name in Australia too.
S. exserta syn praeclara
Christian notes that recent research in Bolivia by the German botanist, Petra Wester, has established that S. exserta is the correct name for this species. The name well describes the extremely long and exserted stamens.
S. univerticillata syn‘Chiapas species’
At last it appears there is a proper name for this one. It is S. univerticillata, a name that describes the single verticil (whorl) of flowers. The plant originated in the Chiapas region of Mexico – hence the name that it was temporarily given in Australia. Overseas, it had been sold incorrectly under the name ‘pulchella’ but Christian’s investigations into herbarium specimens proved this to be wrong. Finally it transpired that this plant had been named S. univerticillata by Ramamoorthy in 2007, but that his description had not been published.
S. flocculosa syn‘Kathe’/S. cruikshanksii
Christian’s description of S. cruikshanksii (p. 106) is of a plant that forms a loose cushion of about 25cm high and 30cm wide. Our S. ‘Kathe’ clearly grows much taller than this and is closer in description to S. flocculosa on p 132 of his book.
S. clinopodioides syn‘Michoacan’ ( Blue)
This plant from the Michoacan region of Mexico, known in the UK as S. ‘Michoacan Blue’ has been determined to be the species S. clinopodioides. (indicating similarity with another Genus, Clinopodium in the Lamiaceae family) This is an interesting plant with lovely blue flowers compressed tightly into persistent bracts. It dies down to tuberous roots in the winter and then emerges quite late, producing numerous shoots in early summer.
S. ‘Red Dragon’
This is more complicated and by no means certain. The name ‘Red Dragon’ is a nursery name from New Zealand. Cait Hoogenbosch sent photos to Richard Dufresne, a Salvia specialist in the USA, who in turn provided the original description by Frenald. Richard believes this plant is a stable form of Salvia cardinalis. However, on Richard’s own website, he has a photo of a form of Salvia fulgens which, he says, is newer than the Salvia cardinalis form. He goes on to say that most of the herbarium specimens of these two species (S. fulgens and S. cardinalis) look alike and that his Salvia fulgens plant is not dissimilar to Salvia gesneriiflora. Salvia fulgens and Salvia gesneriiflora flower here at different times of the year, the former in summer and the latter mainly in winter. Both have variable calyx colour. Christian, however, demonstrates the difference between the 2 species. The corolla tube of S. fulgens has 2 papillae at the base (as per Epling’s description of Section Fulgentes) as well as 2 tiny staminodes. S. gesneriiflora has no papillae (although it does have staminodes) and the inside of the corolla tube has clear, parallel striations. Also, the calyx of S. gesneriiflora is longer (20mm cf 15mm with S, fulgens). However, the main difference is the bracts. In S. gesneriiflora, these are half the size of the calyx and fall off quickly and in S. fulgens, these are twice the size of the calyx.
Froissart, C. “La Connaissance des Sauges”, 2008, Edisud, Aix-en-Provence
Pat Anderson 5: 1:09