Salvia Summit II

A World Class Symposium on a Favorite Genus

By: Jennifer Jewell
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Jennifer Jewell – executive producer and host of a weekly, local NPR and web-based garden program for interior Northern California:…

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Salvia muirii basking in the afternoon sun with other dryland companions. Photo: Jennifer Jewell.

The genus Salvia offers just about everything a gardener might want: prismatic colors, heady perfumes, sensual textures, and complex flavors; they can be hardy, tender, diminutive or expansive. With the right selections, Salvia can be focal points in most any garden, almost year round. I lean on them hard in my interior Northern California garden and I am always interested in learning more. Even after my garden’s Salvia collection doubled this last year with help and advice from salvia-expert and friend John Whittlesey, I have a mere 20+ species. This doesn’t scratch the surface of this vast genus, which is the largest in the mint (Lamiaceae) family and boasts around 900 total species and many, many more cultivars.

Thus, I was happy indeed to hear that the world’s foremost authorities on this generous genus are gathering for Salvia Summit II at The Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California from Thursday, March 7th to Sunday, March 10th, 2013. (Salvia Summit I took place at Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA in 2008.)

Targeted at “Salvia experts and enthusiasts”, Salvia Summit II has a stellar program Thursday through Saturday, including talks on a wide variety of Salvia related topics by Rolando Uria (www.salvias.com.ar), Sue Templeton (salviaspecialist.com), Panayoti Kelaidis (Denver Botanic Garden), Jesus Gonzalez (Mexico), Frank Fischer (Germany), Bart O’Brien (Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden), John Whittlesey (California), Scott Zona (Florida), Jack Hurd (Alaska Crime Lab), Aaron Jenks, and Ernst van Jaarsveld (Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, South Africa). Sunday, March 10th is slated for field trips to see and be inspired by Salvia in wild or garden settings.

Organized by a group of self-described “Salvia friends” (all of them experts), Salvia Summit II has space for 90 lucky participants; registration is $230 per person. Admission to the Huntington Botanical Gardens and Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is also included in the registration fee. For more information: http://www.seedhunt.com/salviasummit2013.html.