Salvia caymanensis - Cayman Sage

Salvia caymanensis - Cayman Sage


by P. Ann van B. Stafford
Cayman Nature Tour Guide and Native Plants Consultant

Salvia caymanensis Millsp.& Uline ex Millsp., Field Mus. Bot. 2:94 (1900)
Grand Cayman endemic, Critically Endangered 
 LAMIACEAE / LABITAE
 
FLORA of the CAYMAN ISLANDS 2nd. Edition by George R. Proctor, Kew Publishing 2012
Page 590, Fig. 219, Plate 57.

Threatened Plants of the Cayman Islands THE RED LIST by Frederic J. Burton,  
Kew Publishing 2008.  Page 46.

A small, stiffly erect, slender shrub (woody), a short-lived perennial, to 1m tall with OPPOSITE aromatic grey-green leaves, covered on the underside with tiny white hairs. The deep blue flowers drop off as the day progresses. The 2-lipped calyx, the lips subequal, is clothed with spreading gland-tipped hairs. The glands are navy blue. The mature caylces are more than 5mm long, open and gaping in fruit.

Habitat: sandy thickets and clearings


History of Salvia caymanensis:
1899    Charles F. Millspaugh, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. 
1938    Wilfred Kings, Oxford University Biological Expedition to the Cayman Islands.
1956    George R. Proctor, collected in Savannah / Newlands
1967 June 8 Martin Brunt #2081 
Sandy site by roadside, George Town, West Bay Road.
Salvia caymanensis Virtual Herbarium of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands 
38 years go by without Salvia caymanensis being found
2005 April 23  Carla Reid found Salvia caymanensis growing in an abandoned George Town sand garden.
2005 Dec. 10  Daphne Rudolph found Salvia caymanensis in sandy, overgrown area at Cottage, south coast.

2007 May 25 Carla Reid found several plants flowering on the Queens Highway verge, north coast.

 #348 South Church St, George Town, just before the site was bulldozed.
Carla Reid found Cayman Sage - Salvia caymanensis, growing in the abandoned sand garden,
7 months after Hurricane Ivan hit Grand Cayman.
Photo: Ann Stafford, April 23, 2005


Webster House, National Trust for the Cayman Islands office, #359 South Church St, George Town, diagonally opposite #348, the abandoned house with overgrown sand garden where Carla Reid found Salvia caymanensis.
Photo: Ann Stafford, April 25, 2005.

Cayman Sage - Salvia caymanensis discovered by Carla Reid in a George Town sand garden,
7 months after Hurricane Ivan hit Grand Cayman, in Sept. 2004.  #348 South Church St, Grand Cayman,  Photo: P. Ann van B. Stafford, April 23, 2005.
She grew some plants in her garden at East End.


 #348 South Church St, George Town, Grand Cayman, Salvia caymanensis habitat - George Town sand garden,  7 months after Hurricane Ivan hit Grand Cayman, in Sept. 2004
 Photo: P. Ann van B. Stafford, April 23, 2005.

Daphne Rudolph found and photographed Salvia caymanensis in a sandy overgrown area at Cottage, on the south coast of Grand Cayman, Dec. 10, 2005

Salvia caymanensis sandy habitat
Carla Reid at Cottage, East End, south coast of Grand Cayman.
Photo: Ann Stafford, June 3, 2007.



Friday, May 25, 2007 Carla Reid found several plants flowering on the Queens Highway 19º 21.113N,  81º 08.684W, east of the Olde house #323, west of & near the agricultural road where Neoregnellia cubensis was found.
On the roadside verge, the plants growing back after being mown, & in the bush, plant 66cm high, (with Zanthoxylum flavum, Tournefortia astrotricha, Lantana involucrata, Savia erythroxyloides, Erythoxylum areolatum, Cordia sebestena var caymanensis, Phyllanthus angustifolius, Morinda citrifolia, Comocladia dentata & others).
 Salvia caymanensis plants found by Carla Reid on Queens Highway verge 
on Friday, May 25, 2007.
Photo: Carla Reid, May 26, 2007.

Queens Highway, north coast of Grand Cayman, roadside verge where
Carla Reid found Salvia caymanensis, the small slender shrub with blue flowers on May 25, 2007.
Photo: Ann Stafford. May 27, 2007
 Carla Reid points out Salvia caymanensis, the small, slender shrub with blue flowers,
which she found on May 25, 2007, growing the Queens Highway roadside verge, Grand Cayman. 
Maiden Plum - Comocladia dentata, Do Not Touch, Family: ANACARDIACEAE, has a highly irritant sap, to which most people are allergic, is growing on the right.
Photo: Ann Stafford. May 27, 2007

Photo: P. Ann van B. Stafford, May 28, 2007
Cayman Islands FLORA photos
Salvia caymanensis habitat at Cottage, Grand Cayman.
Photo: Ann Stafford, June 3, 2007.
Image: P. Ann van B. Stafford, July 30, 2007
Cayman HERBARIUM - scanned images of live plants

Penny Clifford's painting of Salvia caymanensis

May 7, 2007  
CI$1000 REWARD is offered for finding the little shrub with deep blue flowers.
The last time the plant was officially recorded was 40 years ago by Martin Brunt, June 8, 1967.

Dr. Proctor confirms identification of Salvia caymanensis

Mon. June 11, 2007  Specimens were sent by Fedex to Dr. George R. Proctor in Jamaica by the National Trust for the Cayman Islands.

Thurs. June 14, 2007  Dr. Proctor confirmed the identification of Salvia caymanensis (Queens Highway roadside verge plants, May 25, 2007) by phone.
#348 South Church St plants of April 23, 2005, rescued and grown by Carla Reid, East End, were also identified as Salvia caymanensis.


For nearly 40 years it was thought that the Cayman sage was extinct, but after the distribution of 'Wanted' posters in 2007 it was rediscovered.

CaymanianCompass
by Carol Winker, May 7, 2007

People who study Cayman’s environment are afraid that a delicate little flowering plant may be extinct.
But anyone who proves them wrong will win $1,000 and a place in Cayman natural history.
The plant is the salvia caymanensis, a graceful part of flora that can reach to a height of up to three feet, with tiny blue flowers and a silvery cast to the underside of its leaves.

The reward is offered through the Darwin Initiative, a programme to conserve endangered plants and animals. Partners include the Department of Environment, the National Trust and the Garden Club.


Left: Salvia caymanensis, Queens Highway roadside verge and
Right: 348 South Church St sand garden,
both found by Carla Reid on May 25, 2007 and April 23, 2005 respectively.
The leaves are slightly different.
 Image: P. Ann van B. Stafford, May 27, 2007

CaymanianCompass
by Carol Winker, July 26, 2007

Mrs. Carla Reid was forced to bring her vehicle to a stop one day last month so that trenching machinery could be moved on Queen’s Highway.
As she waited, she looked out of her window and saw something she had feared did not exist any more – a uniquely Caymanian plant identified years ago as salvia caymanensis and known less formally as Cayman sage.
Carla Reid & Mat Cottam
For the presentation of the $1,000 reward, Mrs. Carla Reid and Mr. Mat Cottam chose an area in which she found the Cayman sage. Unfortunately, the flowers were no longer in bloom. Fortunately, Mr. Cottam had taken close–ups the previous week. Photo: Carol Winker


Although Mrs. Reid travels that section of road frequently, it’s a 50 miles per hour stretch, so chances of seeing the plant’s little blue flowers were minimal.
The flowers apparently don’t stay in bloom very long: when photographers went to the area last week, the blossoms were gone. Without them, the plant is not as easy to identify.
Mrs. Reid knew what she was looking for. The Darwin Initiative’s recent offer of a $1,000 reward reminded her of her earlier interest.
Grand Cayman small, slender endemic shrub, Critically Endangered
The flowers drop off around midday.
Image: P. Ann van B. Stafford, June 5, 2007
Cayman Islands ENDEMICS - plants and creatures


 Salvia caymanensis under attack by insect pest Cottony Cushion Scale - Icerya purchasi.
Image: P. Ann van B. Stafford, Grand Cayman, Oct.31, 2010.

 Image: P. Ann van B. Stafford, Oct.31, 2010
Featured Creature Icerya purchasi - Cottony Cushion Scale insect pest
BugGuide Icerya purchasi - Cottony Cushion Scale 

The 2-lipped calyx is clothed with spreading gland-tipped hairs. The glands are navy blue.
 Photo: Courtney Platt, July 6, 2009

Alasdair Currie and Andrea Jones photographing Salvia caymanensis at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, Grand Cayman, in the Colour Garden, by the lake.
Photo: Ann Stafford, March 2, 2013.

Salvia caymanensis in the Colour Garden at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, Grand Cayman. 
Photo: Ann Stafford, March 2, 2013


DESCRIPTION:
Cayman Sage Salvia caymanensis Millsp. & Uline
Kingdom: Plantae, 
Division: Magnoliophyta, 
Class: Magnoliopsida, 
Order: Lamiales, Family: Labiatae, 
Genus: Salvia, 
Species: caymanensis
Salvia is a widely distributed genus of over 700 species (Proctor 2009). Cayman Sage Salvia caymanensis is endemic to Grand Cayman. The last specimen was collected by Martin Brunt in 1967 (No.2061), and stored in the herbarium of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands (sheet 712). The plant, however, was not seen since, despite repeated surveys. Salvia caymanensis was, until 2007, considered potentially extinct.
Distribution: Species endemic to Grand Cayman.
Conservation status: Critically endangered CR B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)c(ii,iv)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)c(ii,iv).


West Indian Sage - Salvia occidentalis and Cayman Sage - Salvia caymanensis compared
Images: Ann Stafford

West Indian Sage - Salvia occidentalis  

West Indian Sage - Salvia occidentalis  SW, Nov. Gen. & Sp.  Pl.14 (1788)
A straggling, diffusely branched herb, mature calyces not gaping in fruit.
Grand Cayman - Hitchcock Jan. 1891 and Proctor
Little Cayman - Kings 1938 
Cayman Brac - Millspaugh 1899 and Kings 1938
Habitat and range: "throughout tropical America, common along roadsides in open waste places and in various other disturbed habitats".
FLORA of the CAYMAN ISLANDS 2nd. Edition by George R. Proctor, Kew Publishing 2012
Page 590, Plate 57.
 
West Indian Sage - Salvia occidentalis  SW, Nov. Gen. & Sp.  Pl.14 (1788)
Image: P. Ann van B. Stafford, 15, Conch Point Rd, West Bay, Grand Cayman, Jan. 19, 2007

West Indian Sage - Salvia occidentalis  SW, Nov. Gen. & Sp.  Pl.14 (1788)
Image: P. Ann van B. Stafford, 15, Conch Point Rd, West Bay, Grand Cayman, Jan. 19, 2007

West Indian Sage - Salvia occidentalis
Photo: Carla Reid, Grand Cayman, Dec.31, 2007



Vervine, Worry Vine, (Porter Weed) - Stachytarpheta jamaicensis, Family: VERBENACEAE,
has OPPOSITE or whorled leaves and little blue flowers and is an annual weed of open waste places & dry sandy thickets & clearings.
Flora of the Cayman Islands, Proctor, 2012 p.573,Fig.213,  Pl.55.
Photo: P. Ann van B. Stafford, Nov. 13, 2013. 
This wildflower is a larval food plant of the Caribbean Buckeye / Tropical Buckeye butterfly - Junonia genoveva, & nectar flower for several butterflies.
Butterflies of the Cayman Islands  
by R. R. Askew and P. A. van B. Stafford, 2008, pp.49-51.

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