Theodore Payne California Native Plant Database

Salvia apiana

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Salvia apiana
Salvia apiana
Salvia apiana
Salvia apiana
Salvia apiana
Salvia apiana

Species Name: Salvia apiana
Common Name: White Sage

Important Native American ceremonial plant. Flower stalks are tall and arching, up to six feet long. Striking white foliage and beautiful structural form. A local native. Tolerates heavy soil. Bees love it.

Plant Family: Lamiaceae
Plant Type: Perennial
Height by Width: 3-5' H x 4-6' W (flower spike to 6'+)
Growth Habit: Rounded
Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
Growth Rate: Fast
Sun Exposure: Full to part sun
Soil Preference: Adaptable
Water Requirements: Drought-tolerant to occasional
Cold Hardy to: 15 degrees F
Flower Season: Spring/Summer
Flower Color: White
Endangered?: Not listed
Distribution: Coastal Southern California to desert margins, Baja
Natural Habitat: Dry slopes in Coastal Sage Scrub, Chaparral, Yellow Pine Forest below 5000'

Image:hummingbird_iconA.jpg Image:songbird_iconA.jpg Image:butterfly_iconA.jpg Image:clay_iconA.jpg Image:fragrant_iconA.jpg Image:slope_iconA.jpg

Care and Maintenance

  • Introduced into cultivation in California by Theodore Payne.
  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: "Distinctive by its tall spikes of white flowers on erect stems. Large handsome silvery leaves. Makes a very pleasing color contrast when used with other shrubbery. Stands heat and drought, but will also thrive under ordinary garden culture. It makes a very attractive subject in a garden where a note of gray foliage is desired. Gallon cans, 50c."
Other Names
  • Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. California Native Plants for the Garden. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press. 2005.
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