Clones of Salvia divinorum
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Seed raised clones:Seed raised plants are valuable because they are genetically unique. Unfortunately, Salvia divinorum seeds are extremely rare. For reasons not entirely understood, this plant almost never sets seed. Botanists have never found seed on plants growing in their native habitat. The first published description of S. divinorum seed was that of L.J. Valdés. He had managed to produce seed by carefully hand-pollinating greenhouse grown plants; unfortunately those seed failed to germinate. A.S. Reisfield was the next person to report successful seed production. Many of the seeds he obtained germinated, but the plants were not maintained.
In 1994, while examining a collection of S. divinorum (Wasson/Hofmann clone) growing at a friend's property in Hawaii, I was fortunate enough to discover seventy seeds. This is first documented instance in which S. divinorum plants are known to have spontaneously produced seed. This was the only time that seed had been found on these particular plants. They had been checked in previous years and have been checked many times since. It is unclear why they only produced seed this one particular year. Despite the most careful attention, only thirteen seeds germinated. The seedlings all started out growing very weakly and seven died off at a very small size. The six remaining plants are now growing well.
Recently, in 1999 a commercial S. divinorum grower in Hawaii discovered seeds on his plants. Although he had been experimenting with hand-pollination, most of the seed he obtained came from plants that he had not hand-pollinated. Apparently they had been pollinated by insects. Many of the seeds germinated, but many of the seedlings were weak and did not survive. The ones that did are growing normally. Two of these were raised by myself from seed that the grower kindly shared with me.
The following is a list of the seed-raised clones in my collection:
Seed parents = "Wasson/Hofmann"
Seed parents = "Palatable"
Vegetatively propagated clones - collected in the Sierra Mazateca:Wasson/Hofmann (Collected by Wasson and Hofmann)
Cerro Quemado (Collected by L.J. Valdés III)
Palatable (Collected by Bret Blosser)
Bret Blosser #2 (Collected by Bret Blosser)
Catalina (KH96 - Collected by Kathleen Harrison July 1996)
Delicious (DS9901 - Collected by Daniel Siebert February 11, 1999)
Julieta (DS9902 - Collected by Daniel Siebert February 14, 1999)
Distinctive clones:Luna (syn. DS9401L)
This is an unusual clone that I discovered growing in a patch of the "Wasson/Hofmann" clone. It is either a sport of the "Wasson/Hofmann" clone that sprung up from the base of the surrounding plants, or it may have originated from a seed that fell from the neighboring plants. Given that it is extremely rare for Salvia divinorum to produce viable seeds and that any seedlings produced tend to be very weak, it is most likely that this is actually a sport, possibly some type of polyploid. The leaf morphology is distinctive. The margin is more deeply serrated and the leaf is more roundish than ovate. Go here to see a picture of Luna.
Lost clones:Valdés collected three different clones. unfortunately due to labeling mix-ups and some plant losses the only one that we are certain still exists in cultivation is his collection from Cerro Quemado (see above).
A.S. Reisfield, author of "The Botany of Salvia divinorum", collected several specimens in Oaxaca, and also managed to produce viable seed from which he raised several plants. These plants were left in the care of the horticultural staff at "The University of Wisconsin" were they all died off. It is always possible that someone out there propagated some of these lost clones in which case they may still exist in some private collections. Perhaps some of these will show up again in the future.
Taking into accout variations in appearance brought on by environmental or cultural conditions, most clones of S. divinorum look identical and therefore cannot be visually distinguished from one another. The distinctive clones described above are the only exceptions that I am aware of.