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Products > Salvia spathacea
 
Salvia spathacea - Hummingbird Sage
  

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae) (Mints)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Rose Pink
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 4-5 feet
Exposure: Cool Sun/Light Shade
Drought Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10 F
Salvia spathacea (Hummingbird Sage) - A low growing semi-evergreen herbaceous perennial sage with a ground-cover mounding habit 1 to 2 feet tall and spreading slowly by underground rhizomes to about 4 feet in time. The plant is slightly sticky to the touch with pleasingly aromatic arrow-shaped light green leaves that can grow to 6 inches long and are wrinkled on top and hairy beneath. The deep rose-pink flowers grow in large pagoda-like whorls on 30 inch tall flower stalks from late winter into summer. Plant in full sun to partial shade and give little to occasional irrigation but tolerates even more regular watering. Evergreen in temperatures in the mid 20's but root hardy to at least down to 0 F and suitable for USDA Zones 8 to 11. Dead head the inflorescences to their base after flowering is over to keep plant low and tidy and dig unwanted spreading rhizomes for replanting elsewhere in late fall or early winter. This is an extremely tough plant that can go dormant in summer but can be kept evergreen with an occasional irrigation and can remain evergreen in winters in gardens where temperatures remain in the 20's. It is quite useful in dry shade such as under a coast live oak. The flowers are attractive to hummingbirds, hence the typical common name but it is also commonly called Crimson Pitcher Sage. Hummingbird Sage is native to shady or open grassy slopes in the lower elevations along the California coastal ranges from Solano County south to Orange County and perhaps north San Diego County. Our plants originally from plants growing on private property along Camino Cielo in the Santa Ynez Mountains above Santa Barbara.  This description is based on our research and observations of this plant as it grows in containers at our nursery, in our own garden and in other gardens. We also appreciate receiving feedback of any kind from those who have additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or have additional cultural tips that would aid others growing Salvia spathacea .
 
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