A World of Salvias HomePage

Mission Statement:

After over 25 years of collecting. growing, and distributing Salvia species and cultivars, it is high time I took advantage of the Internet to further my interests.  My goals are to:
1.  Distribute new and underutilized plants to botanic gardens, nurseries, research organizations,  students, and collectors.  This will be done to accelerate the introduction of species and forms that are worthy of rescuing from extinction or introduction because of their potential ornamental, medicinal, herbal, ethnobotanic, horticultural, or research uses.  Initially, I will emphasize species over hybrids.

2.  Collect, organize, and distribute horticultural and botanic information on both species and hybrids.  Feedback will be necessary because I am not a trained taxonomist, nor do I have access to enough data sources to be even 80% complete. To aid this effort, modest utilities developed for this site will be used to collect information and to raise, challenge and resolve issues by stimulating the interest and participation of students, hobbyists, collectors, botanists, nurserymen, seed and plant collectors, botanic garden collection managers, and other experts. 

Initially, a simple forum will be developed for clarifying and resolving confusion of Salvia identities.  As with the plants themselves, species information will be developed in preference to hybrid forms, since a lot of the information is proprietary and regional.  Sorting out the recent rapid development in new varieties of Salvia greggii in areas like Europe, California, Texas, and other parts of the United States will take a while.

3.  Promote the use of new graphic techniques for databases to aid the development of neglected tools of taxonomy and other botanic disciplines.  While it is true that university research in botany is receiving much funding, most of the funds are going into projects that promise a quick reward for the sponsors.  The basic tools that would expedite this work are not being adequately funded in my view. Even though primarily designed as references and aids for research, there are many possible practical and commercial uses for these tools. 

For example, the Synthesis of the North American Flora could benefit from the addition of images.  This impressive work, a digitized, searchable flora of all of North America north of the Rio Grande River and including Greenland and Hawaii, will hopefully be developed for use in studying and controlling the spread of exotic species.  I understand that estimates are around six billion dollars per year for the damage caused in the United States alone by all kinds of exotic (introduced) species of plants, animals, molds, etc. Data bases with images would be useful to essential personnel like agricultural agents not deeply trained in taxonomy.  Here are two further examples of useful applications that could benefit from the addition of image utilities: 

A.   Field operable electronic data bases that will certainly be needed to catalog and monitor the world's remaining undiscovered flora, rapidly disappearing because of global development pressure.

B.   On-line herbarium data bases that make their precious resources accessible to all kinds of interested parties with urgent needs, such as hospital poison control centers. 

4.  Alert interested parties to botanic resources.  One of my best resources for investigating Salvias has been the Gray Herbarium at Harvard University.  I made many visits there between 1975 and 1977 reviewing herbarium specimens and old botanic journals like Hooker's Botanic Magazine.  Consequently, I discovered the many worthy sages not being grown or investigated.  To continue my research, I had to make a copy of the herbarium sheet on a black and white copier,  a tedious process.  This information was extremely useful for developing searches for new and worthy plants not being grown.  Now technology is catching up.

A searchable database of their specimen holdings is currently available on line as the Index of the Gray Herbarium.  Another outstanding resource is the W3Tropicos site of the Missouri Botanical Garden.  These modest but impressive Internet utilities hint at their tremendous potential for further development.  Currently, new image databases are being developied: 

A.    The Missouri Botanical Garden is building its TROPICOS Image Index for its W3Tropicos data base.

B.    The New York Botanical Garden has similarly begun building an on-line data base of its herbarium holdings (Vascular Plant Type Catalog).

Both of these resources use state-of-the-art image handling software, which enables the efficient downloading and viewing of herbarium sheets.

However, urgent support is needed to maintain the physical collections that form the basic reference and research material needed by scientists to certify identities and carry on investigations.  Unless more attention is paid to these resources, they will become less accessible and harder to manage.

5.  Develop a new art form for plant graphics used for the Gallery of Salvias.  This goal may become my main interest in the future.  Many people have remarked that my images look somewhat like watercolors, others mistake them for fresh-pressed flowers.  My goal is to make them as realistic as possible, useful in both science and art.

I hope to develop a series of high resolution art prints (Iris press on Arches Text Wove paper, for instance). One use for the prints will be to develop kits of full, half, and quarter page prints for garden club fund raiser sales, favors for nurseries to offer customers (bookmarks, note paper), and items for bookstores and botanic and zoological gift shops.  Posters, tee shirts, and digitally colored art media like ceramics are other possibilities.  I welcome contacts from developers.

Time will tell if even a modest amount of these goals will be realized.  There is enough of a challenge here for several lifetimes.  Because of an uncertain future as an organic chemist, I am leaving these goals open as options, and will make choices as necessary.

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Links to Other World of Salvia Pages:

A World of Salvias Home PageLinks to Botanic Gardens and Nurseries

2001:  The Year of the SalviaCollage of individual Salvia flowers; taxonomic uses

Placard BooksA Gallery of Salvias Main Index and First VolumeList of Plants for Sale and Order Forms

Utility PagesDirections and MapsSalvia FAQ Pages