[taxon report][distribution map][all photos][line drawing]
Scientific Name: Salvia summa A. Nelson
Vernacular Name: Supreme sage
R-E-D Code: 1-1-2
Description: Herbaceous perennial to 30 cm tall; sparingly branched; foliage resinous dotted and finely and densely silky-ciliate and pilose; basal and lower stem leaves pinnately lobed or pinnate; terminal lobe relatively large and coarsely toothed; other leaves ovate to cordate-triangular and variously toothed; flowers short-pedicelled - in axils of leaves, two per node; calyx 2-lipped, divided to near the middle, upper lip three-lobed with the middle lobe triangular and shorter and broader than the lance-linear outer lobes, lower lip with two lance-linear lobes; corolla 35-45 mm long, three times as long as the calyx, pilose, 2-lipped with the nonventricose tube slender but gradually dilated at the spreading lobes, pale lavender or pinkish with red dots in throat; lower corolla lip 3-lobed, noticeably longer than upper lip; stigma lobes unequal and subulate, well-exserted and surpassing stamens. Flowers March and April.
Similar Species: Salvia henryi occurs in the same general habitat, but has red flowers with a shorter lower lip and a ventricose corolla tube abruptly dilated just above the calyx. The foliage of the two taxa is very similar.
Distribution: New Mexico, Chaves, Doņa Ana and Eddy counties, San Andres, Organ, and Guadalupe mountains; adjacent Texas, El Paso and Culberson counties, Franklin, Guadalupe and Delaware mountains; Mexico, Chihuahua
Habitat: Found almost exclusively on partly shaded limestone cliffs; 1,520-2,140 m (5,000-7,000 ft).
Conservation Considerations: This plant is not significantly threatened by land use within its habitats.
Important Literature (*Illustration):
Correll, D.S. and M.C. Johnston. 1970. Manual of the vascular plants of Texas. Texas Research Foundation, Renner, Texas.
*New Mexico Native Plants Protection Advisory Committee. 1984. A handbook of rare and endemic plants of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.
Walker, J.B. and W.J. Elisens. 2001. A revision of Salvia section Heterosphace (Lamiaceae) in western North America. Sida 19(3):571-589.
Information Compiled By:
Richard D. Worthington, 1999