Cross-Pollination: Sage and Lavender?
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Sally
Posted on: May 14, 2007

I was looking for information on the possibility of cross-pollination of sage & lavender because after a number of years of growing near my sage, my lavender is putting out round/oval leaves this spring which looks very odd.

I noticed a somewhat similar question "Plant Isolation Required to Prevent Cross Pollination" on dill, coriander & fennel in which Joe Handley writes:

"I had for a few years been calling a plant which grows from self-sown seed in my garden "fendill" because it wasn’t quite like either the fennel or the mammoth dill I had grown in a previous year. This year I have seen a warning in more than one place that dill & fennel should not be grown near each other, because they will cross-pollinate and the resulting seeds will grow neither good dill not good fennel."

I have never known sage and lavender to cross-pollinate. They belong to the same botanical family, but they are in different genera which means that they are probably too distantly related to be able to cross-pollinate. In any case, the effects of cross-pollination show up only in plants that grow from the seeds that result, not in the parent plants themselves.

It is not uncommon for the first spring growth of perennial plants to differ from their normal growth. The process of overwintering and revival from winter dormancy is a complex one involving a number of plant hormones. These hormones can easily affect the morphology of leaves during transition periods such as the spring revival period.

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