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California Natives
California Natives

Native plants are species that developed naturally in a particular region or ecosystem without human cultivation. Planting a native garden not only brightens the landscape but also helps to support local wildlife, including butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds.

Indigenous wildlife is dependent on native plants for food and habitat. However, deer generally don't like any kind of Salvia, including native species.

The heady fragrance of sage is a powerful characteristic of the natural California landscape and native plant gardens. California native sages thrive in a variety of settings ranging from foggy islands to dry, semi-arid foothills of the state's chaparral lands. A select few are so at home in the gravelly landscape of the Mohave Desert that it is almost impossible for them to grow elsewhere.

Flowers by the Sea cultivates hardy, drought-resistant California Salvias that are native to a broad swath of the West Coast ranging from Northern Baja to Southern Oregon. This area is referred to as the California Floristic Province and has a mild, Mediterranean climate characterized by wet winters and dry summers. Some of these species need full sun while others love or at least tolerate partial shade. They range from short, creeping groundcovers to herbaceous shrubs that reach up to five feet tall.

Flower colors include blues, lavenders and roses as well as more rare hues of apricot, yellow and white. A number of California natives bloom from winter into spring, but summer and fall bloomers are also available to give native flower gardens year-round color.

Flowers by the Sea offers hybrids as well as parent species of California favorites. Please let us know if you have questions about any of the plants listed here or in other parts of our catalog.

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(Island Pitcher Sage) Native to shady canyons on the coast of Southern California's Channel Islands, this threatened species is highly desirable for its ruggedness, its aromatic furry leaves and its spectacular pink flowers.

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(Dara's Choice Creeping Sage) A California native hybrid Sage that blooms in spring and early summer, Dara's Choice is widely considered the best choice for slopes, sunny neglected areas and problem spots.
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(Sacred White Sage) Bees, hummingbirds and spiritual blessings are all connected to this elegant shrubby sage, which is an important herb to indigenous Californians and deserves a place in every salvia garden. Stiff and almost fleshy, its leaves are tight rosettes of brilliant, silvery white.

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(Vicki Romo White Sage) A hybrid two top Californian natives, Vicki Romo has foliage very much like that of White Sage (Salvia apiana) and darker lavender flowers than those of Cleveland Sage (Salvia clevelandii).

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(Santa Rosa Island Sage) This is a hardy, California native sage although it is only found in the wild on one of Southern California's Channel Islands. It is drought resistant and forms dense mounds of fragrant, deep green, wrinkly foliage with heavenly clouds of lavender-tinged blue flowers in spring.
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(Pacific Blue Sage) Whorls of deep lavender-blue flowers contrast brightly against the dark maroon stems of this likely hybrid of Salvia brandegeei and Salvia munzii.

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(Cedros Island Sage) From the Island of Cedars off the coast of Baja California Sur comes this delightful xeric sage with deep violet-blue flowers and silvery foliage. The square-shaped, 1-inch-long leaves are densely covered with downy, short, white hairs providing moisture retention.

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(Alpine Cleveland Sage) Powerfully fragrant and incredibly long blooming, Alpine Cleveland Sage is also the cold-hardyest variety of its species, tolerating temperatures well below freezing.
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(Silver Cleveland Sage or California Silver-Blue Sage) Unlike other Cleveland Sages, this drought-tolerant, violet-flowered evergreen blooms in summer. This compact, aromatic shrub has distinctive silver-grey foliage. It was discovered in Northern San Diego County.
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(Cleveland Sage or California Blue Sage) A California native plant garden is not complete without a Cleveland Sage. This particular cultivar has deeper blue flowers with a purple overlay as well as deep purple calyxes. Due to its height and drought resistance, it is ideal for back of border in a dry garden or for use as a screen.

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(Cleveland Sage or California Blue Sage) This drought-tolerant, evergreen, California native is a compact, aromatic shrub with electric blue-purple flowers that bloom in summer. Discovered in a Berkeley, California, garden, Winnifred Gilman is a fine variety of the species.
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(Sand Sage) Upward curling and finely scalloped, the narrow, lime-green leaves of Salvia eremostachya are cute with a capital "C". Whorls of pale violet-blue flowers supported by fuzzy burgundy calyxes are equally appealing.
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(Giant Spreading California Purple Sage or Giant Spreading California Gray Sage) Looking for a large-scale groundcover? One for poor soil, little-to-no water, howling winds or seriously hot sun? This variety of Salvia leucophylla may be the answer.
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(Spreading California Purple Sage or Spreading California Gray Sage) Songbirds love this California native as do honeybees and hummingbirds. This Salvia leucophylla clone was collected in 1982 by Dr. Dale Smith of University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB #82152) at Point Sal near Santa Barbara.

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(Black Sage or Honey Sage) One of the most common and fragrant native shrubs in Central California's Coast Ranges, Black Sage is ideal for dry gardens. Admirably adaptable, it tolerates soils ranging from the most marginal to ones that are loamy and provide excellent drainage. It is a survivor.

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(Jade Carpet Black Sage) Black Sage Salvia mellifera is one of the most common and fragrant native shrubs in the California Coast Ranges and is ideal for dry gardens. At 24 inches tall by 6 feet wide, this variety is an excellent groundcover. It is slightly taller and has more grey in the leaf color than the closely related variety 'Terra Seca'.

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(Dry Earth Black Sage) Black Sage Salvia mellifera is one of the most common and fragrant native shrubs in the California Coast Ranges and is ideal for dry gardens. At 12 inches tall by 5 feet wide, this variety is an excellent groundcover.

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(Munz's Sage) Densely branched and extremely fragrant, this drought-resistant shrub is named for botanist Philip Munz (1892-1974) of Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and Pomona College. It is native to northern Baja California and the coastal mountains of San Diego.
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(Hummingbird Sage or Pitcher Sage) No sage we grow is more attractive to hummingbirds than this one. Spectacular in all ways, it is one of our favorite Salvias with its fragrant, evergreen foliage and jewel-like flowers and bracts.

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(Yellow Hummingbird Sage or Yellow Pitcher Sage) The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden introduced this rare yellow variety of fragrant Hummingbird Sage. Similar to other varieties of this species, Avis Keedy is alluring to butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds.

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(Apricot Hummingbird Sage or Cerro Alto Pitcher Sage) Large clusters of warm, apricot-colored blossoms top the tall, thick flower spikes of this sage. It is named after a peak in the mountains behind the crashing waters of Big Sur on California's Central Coast.

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(Elk Rose Hummingbird Sage) Dusky pastel, rose-toned flowers with burgundy stamens are surrounded by silvery, velvety bracts in this unusual variety of the native California species Salvia spathacea. It is an FBTS cultivar developed through several generations of breeding.
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(Little Hummingbird Sage or Pitcher Sage) At one-fourth to one-half the size of our other Hummingbird Sages, this is the smallest variety of Salvia spathacea that we grow.

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(Giant Hummingbird Sage or Pitcher Sage) Powerline Pink is the largest variety of Salvia spathacea that we grow. Its large, dark pink flowers are surrounded by bracts so furry that they look silvery.

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