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Salvia apiana

  • Common Name
    White Sage
  • CA Native
    California Native
  • Plant Type
    Perennial
  • Size
    2' - 3' x 2'
  • Flower Color
    White
  • Bloom Time
    • Spring
  • Leaves
    Gray-Green to White
  • Evergreen
    Evergreen
  • Deer Resistant
    Rarely Damaged
  • Wildlife Value
    • Bees
  • Growth Rate
    Slow
  • Hardiness
    Hardy
  • Adverse Growth Factors
    None
  • Special Features
    • Low Maintenance
    • Specimen
  • Water Use
    • Drought Tolerant
    • Low
  • Soil pH
    6.5-7.5 (neutral)
  • Exposure
    • Full Sun
  • Soil Type
    Not Particular
  • Drainage
    Well Drained
  • Description and Cultural Plant Tips

    White sage is a slow-growing clumping perennial. It is difficult to establish and can take up to 3 years to reach a mature stage. It has a lovely whitish gray leaf.  When it blooms it produces a 2-5 foot flower stalk which is intoxicating to bees. That is why this sage is sometimes called bee sage. It is a great plant for a moonlight garden. The foliage has a wonderful aroma and is used for incense. It was used by Native Americans as smudge sticks.

    Plant on a hot, southern slope with great drainage. Tolerates a wide range of soil pH's. Needs no summer water if planted in the fall to take advantage of winter rains.

    Bees love this plant.

    This plant has no serious pests or diseases.

  • Master Gardener Comments

    I have this plant on a hot, south-west facing slope with minimum water and deer. It has been slow to take off but I have seen mature plants and they are lovely. Can't wait to see mine in another year or so.

  • Varietals
    N / A