Jun. 10, 2019

Rocky Mountain sage, Salvia reflexa

Yesterday's sage reminded me of this episode. In 1902, a dried specimen of a plant was received at the Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) herbarium. The herbarium director must have asked for more information. The responding note is still attached to the specimen. "Prof. W. J. Beal, Dear Sir: In response to your request for information about the plant Salvia lanceolata, I will say I found a small plant three years ago in a bean patch and took it to the house but did not try to look up the name. This Season I found this plant in the company of a half dozen others a few rods from the site of the other, by the side of the orchard fence where the hogs had broken the sod last year. These are the only ones I discovered. I suspect that they came from Vaughn's Seed Store in some alfalfa seed. Shall watch closely as I don't like the looks of it. Too much like red-root. Gratefully Yours, Chas. M. Fuller, Hudson, Michigan." In 2005, the story was remade in my garden. There too the plants must have been fellow travelers in seed or a pot. That's the ultimate source of this image since these sage plants smelled too good to immediately destroy them. The flowers are at most a quarter inch long. This is a western native, spread eastward, and now reported from AR, AZ, CA, CO, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI, WV, WY, BC, MB, ON, QC, and SK.
Lenawee Co MI, 8/20/11.