The first salvia to bloom at Denver Botanic Gardens every spring is actually from Western Asia and Turkey rather than India as the name would imply. It shows one extreme of the range of form the genus can display. Now look below at a Western American gem:
Photo: taken mid-September, 2001 above treeline in the Pakistan Himalaya. Notice this rugged, treeline behemoth was cut for firewood. It is sadly emblematic of how we humans have taken an enormous toll on forests worldwide, not just in nature, but in our cities where tree longevity due to pollution, vandalism, disease and just plain complacence has left our urban forest canopy in tatters.
Aloe polyphylla at Semonkong Lodge
Few plants better epitomize the quandaries of plant conservation than this iconic aloe, endemic to the heights of south-central Lesotho, South Africa. Once relatively abundant (Alan Beverly estimated at least 10,000 a half century ago), this magnificent national flower of Lesotho has become extremely rare in nature...although increasingly abundant in gardens.