Tribute to David Salman (1957 – 2022)

| Colorado Native Plants

By Diane Stahl

David Salman
David Salman

If you are in the native plant community anywhere in the west, you have probably heard of the untimely passing of David Salman. We at Wild Ones Front Range chapter are heartbroken. 

If you did not know David by name, you probably knew his online businesses (High Country Gardens and Santa Fe Greenhouse). Being the founder with his wife, Ava, this propagation business brought numerous plant introductions to the nursery trade – and to our landscapes. David was also a founding member of Plant Select®, a regional plant introduction organization.

Of late, David had been concentrating his efforts towards seed collecting on only native species. He opened Waterwise Gardening, a wholesale business that specializes in growing and breeding native plants for arid and high plains.

A renowned propagator, David gave us knowledge and access to water-wise plants and local pollinators. In March 2020, Wild Ones Front Range partnered with David on a highly successful program where David shared his adventures of collecting and “birthing” adaptable species. We were in discussions with David on another program about nativars. 

Kelly Grummons, owner of Cold Hardy Cactus (himself an expert of native plant seed collecting) comments, “The Front Range horticulture industry would not have been as prolific and come this far without David’s expertise, passion, and critical plant collection.”  

Showy, waterwise, and pollinator-friendly Agastache are some of his favorite plants to develop. Other introductions include cold hardy Cacti, Lavender plants, Hesperaloe (Texas Yucca), Salvia plants, and many more. In David’s FlowerKisser™ plant line, perennial introductions are especially nectar-rich to nourish bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. And Blonde Ambition grass (Bouteloua gracilis) is a new favorite of landscapers.

David died on June 5, 2022, in Santa Fe New Mexico, where he lived most of his life. You can read the article about David in the Santa Fe chronicle. His knowledge of the plant world and enthusiasm for the natural world in general, were beyond extraordinary and he will be missed.

If you would like to honor David with a contribution, his suggested organizations are: 

David’s native and water-wise plant introductions (also linked here):

Agastache aurantiaca ‘Shades of Orange’ (2003)

Agastache hyb. ‘Ava’ (2004)

Agastache cana ‘Rosita’ (2008)

Agastache hyb. Desert Sunrise® (2000) 

Agastache hyb. ‘Desert Solstice’ (2010)

Agastache rupestris (1996)

Agastache rupestris Glowing Embers® (2002) 

Aloinopsis hyb. ‘Psychedelic’ (2007)

Aquilegia aff. longissima Swallowtail® (2000)

Berberis fendleri (Taos Co., NM collection) (2005)

Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition PP#22,048 (2011)

Delosperma dyeri Red Mountain® Flame 

Hesperaloe parviflora ‘Coral Glow’ PP#29,626 (2018) 

Hesperaloe parviflora ‘Straight Up Red’ (2016)

Lavender angustifolia ‘WWG02’ FlowerKisser™

After Midnight English Lavender(2019)

Lavandula angustifolia ‘Wee One’ (2014) 

Monardella odoratissima ‘WWG04’ FlowerKisser™ Arizona Beauty (2019)

Muhlenbergia reverchonii (2008)

Salvia greggii ‘WWG03′ FlowerKisser™ Coral Pink Sage (2019)

Salvia x ‘WWG01’ FlowerKisser™ Dark Shadows Sage (2019)

Salvia greggii ‘WWG05′ FlowerKisser™ Royal Rose Sage (2020)

Salvia hyb. Raspberry Delight® (2000)

Salvia pachyphylla (2004)

Salvia pachyphylla Blue Flame’ (2006)

Salvia sylvestris ‘Little Night’ PP#28,925 (2016)

Scutellaria hyb. ‘Dark Violet’ (2010)

Sorghastrum nutans ‘Thin Man’ PP#28,923 (2014)

Sporobolus wrightii “Windbreaker’ (2006)

Veronica hyb. Blue Reflection® (1998)

Zauschneria garrettii Orange Carpet® (1998)

Zinnia grandiflora ‘Gold on Blue’ (2012)

Curious to learn more about transforming your garden into a habitat with Colorado native wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees? Check out our native gardening toolkit, register for an upcoming event, subscribe to our newsletter, and/or become a member – if you’re not one already!