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Hummingbird Plants

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Hummingbird Plants

We love hummingbirds, and they love us back with lots of visits. That's because our gardens are abundant in the tubular-shaped, nectar-rich flowers of sages and companion plants. Almost any sage (Salvia spp.) will attract hummingbirds. However, this list is based on the plants that hummingbirds regularly swarm in our garden and sneak into our greenhouses to sip.

You'll find a wide range of Salvia species and varieties here, especially ones from the Western Hemisphere. Over the years, we have noticed that hummingbirds seem to prefer mint-family plants (Lamiaceae) from the West. This makes sense considering that these flying jewels aren't found in the Eastern Hemisphere; native animals prefer native flora.

Plants and pollinators in a region coevolve to meet each other's needs. For example, the tube-shaped flowers of North and Central American Lamiaceae particularly fit the beaks of hummingbirds living in those areas whereas some South American sages with longer blossoms require the longer beaks of South American hummers for pollination.

North or South, the super-rich nectar of Salvias and other mint-type plants keep tiny wings whirring. Also, insects attracted to their nectar give the birds an added dietary boost of protein.

We have discovered some happy contradictions to the Hemisphere rule. So we include some Eastern Hemisphere plants here that hummingbirds crave, especially ones from South Africa. These include Salvia companions that are also Lamiaceae. Birds in South Africa, with similarly long beaks, go crazy for the nectar in their trumpet-shaped blossoms.

In addition to basing our selections for this list on years of observation, we also listen to what you have to say. Based on customer feedback, all these plants seem to be hummingbird favorites wherever they are grown. But keep in mind that just because a sage is not listed here does not mean it won't attract and nourish hummers.

Plants


  • Salvia regla 'Huntington Gardens Form'

    (Orange Mountain Sage) This is the reddest of the Salvia regla species and the most floriferous. Side by side with the other varieties, this one is a bit taller and has darker flowers.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia regla 'Jame'

    (Jame Orange Mountain Sage) North Carolina plantsman Richard Dufresne collected this fine variety of Salvia regla near the village of Jame, in central Mexico where the western and eastern Sierra Madre mountains meet.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia regla 'Royal'

    (Orange Mountain Sage) Coahuila, Mexico, is home to many fine Salvias, including the smallest variety of Salvia regla that we grow. This one averages about 3 feet tall and wide.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia regla - Queretaro form

    (Great Orange Mountain Sage) Densely branched with small, dark green leaves, this variety of Salvia regla also features creamy orange flowers with white markings.

    11.50
     


  • Salvia retinervia

    (Bolivian Lace Leaf Sage)  A large decidious woody shrub, this is a distinctive and somewhat unique Salvia species.  The large clusters of deep blue flowers appear in the spring and again in the fall. A native from a tropical savanna climate in Bolivia, this species grows best in climates with year-round warmth.

    14.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia rypara x durifolia 'Elk'

    (Hybrid River Sage) This beautiful new plant is a FBTS hybrid between to rare South American species.  In growth and flower it is intermediate between the parents, and fast growing because of it's hybrid vigor.

    11.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia sagittata

    (Arrowleaf Sage) Brilliant royal blue flowers and unusual foliage attract the eye to Arrowleaf Sage. This large herbaceous perennial is found at elevations up to 10,500 feet in the Cordillera de los Andes of Chile, Ecuador and Peru.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia semiatrata

    (Pine Mountain Sage) Small but numerous, violet and deep purple flowers surrounded by pink bracts are sprinkled throughout this well-branched,shrubby sage like confections. This is one of the showiest Salvias we grow.

    11.50
     


  • Salvia sp. from Smith College

    (Smith College Mystery Sage) This mysterious species came to us via Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.  We refer to it as "Mystery Sage" as the origins of this fine plant are unclear.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia sp. SL411

    (Mystery Peruvian Sage) Airy spikes of fuzzy, bright orange-red flowers and grassy green calyxes mark this Peruvian sage as a mystery worth pursuing. Little is certain about its parentage, according to Argentinian Salvia specialist Rolando Uria of the University of Buenos Aires and Salvias.com.ar.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia spathacea

    (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.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia spathacea 'Avis Keedy'

    (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.

    11.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia spathacea 'Elk Rose'

    (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.
    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia spathacea 'Las Pilitas'

    (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.

    11.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia spathacea 'Powerline Pink'

    (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.

    11.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia spathacea 'Topanga'

    (Topanga Hummingbird Sage or Pitcher Sage) Rich pink flowers surrounded by fuzzy, burgundy and green bracts are two of the reasons why this is one of our favorite kinds of Hummingbird Sage. We also love its vigorous, wide-spreading growth.
    11.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia spathacea 'Yellow"

    (Yellow Hummingbird Sage or Yellow Pitcher Sage) A rare yellow Salvia spathacea discovered in an oak woodland by Santa Barbara Botanic Garden volunteer Avis Keedy produces the seedlings for these vigorous sages.

    11.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia splendens van houttei 'Big Pink'

    (Big Pink Scarlet Sage) Hummingbirds are drawn to the deep wells of nectar in sages such as Salvia splendens van houttei 'Big Pink'. Its narrow, tubular flowers are a pure, clear pink and are supported by cream to dusky pink calyxes.

    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia splendens van houttei 'Elk White'

    (Elk White Scarlet Sage) The first tall white Salvia splendens variety, this new introduction from Flowers by the Sea is vigorous and free flowering all season long.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia splendens van houttei 'Light Plum'

    (Light Plum Scarlet Sage) Long, narrow and tubular, the pinkish-plum flowers of Salvia splendens van houttei 'Light Plum' are pleasing wells of nectar for hummingbirds. Similarly colored calyxes support the blossoms and increase their appeal to people as well as pollinators.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia splendens van houttei 'Paul'

    (Paul's Scarlet Sage) Long, narrow and tubular, the reddish purple flowers of Salvia splendens van houttei 'Paul' are alluring wells of nectar for hummingbirds. Similarly colored calyxes support the blossoms and add to this sage's siren call.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia splendens van houttei 'Peach'

    (Peach Scarlet Sage) A subtle but beautiful peachy orange, the drooping blossoms of this sturdy, long flowering Salvia are the first that anyone comments on in a mixed planting. Use it singly as a dramatic garden accent or container plant; mass it for a stunning effect.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia splendens van houttei Faye Chapel'

    (Faye Chapel Scarlet Sage) A vivid red, the drooping blossoms of this sturdy, long flowering Salvia are large and numerous. Use it singly as a dramatic garden accent or container plant; mass it for a stunning effect. This is an heirloom plant from the Atlantic Coast, where it has been grown as a hummingbird plant for decades.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia splendens ‘Giant Form'

    (Giant Red Scarlet Sage) Looking to fill in large shady area? This may be your best bet. This variety is largest that we know of, growing to 6 feet - 7 feet - or even more in a sheltered shady spot.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia splendens ‘Sao Borja’

    (Sao Borja Scarlet Sage) Three-inch-long, smokey purple blossoms that bloom from spring to fall are a major clue that this heat-tolerant perennial is not your grandmother's Scarlet Sage.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia tubiflora

    (Tubular Chilean Sage) Foggy days and moderate temperatures are the norm for this low-altitude, coastal mountain sage from northern Chile and Peru. It is grown as much for its handsome foliage as for the deep cranberry of its tiny, tubular flowers.

    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia wagneriana 'White Bracts'

    (Pink & White Wagner's Sage) Instead of pink, leaf-life bracts, this variety of Wagner's Sage has white bracts surrounding the hot pink flowers. It blooms from November to March on our coastal Northern California farm where it feeds Anna's hummingbirds all winter long.

    11.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Alegria Dark Pink'

    (Dark Pink Joy Sage) Salvia x 'Alegría Dark Pink' is one of the most vigorous new plants at Flowers by the Sea.  It is a South American introduction from Roland Uria, an agronomy professor and plant researcher from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. This select clone is a deep burgundy pink shade.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia x 'Alegria Light Pink'

    (Light Pink Joy Sage) Salvia x 'Alegría Light Pink' is one of the most vigorous new plants at Flowers by the Sea.  It is a South American introduction from Roland Uria, an agronomy professor and plant researcher from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. This select clone is a soft light pink shade.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia x 'Allen Chickering'

    (Allen Chickering Sage) Whorls of tiny violet flowers punctuate the stems of this sage's fragrant, gray-green foliage. It is a hybrid of Salvia clevelandii and Salvia leucophylla.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Anthony Parker'

    (Anthony Parker Bush Sage) Floriferous spikes of dark blue to purple flowers bloom midsummer to fall on this tidy, mid-height subshrub that grows as wide as it is tall.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Betsy's Choice'

    (Betsy's Choice Sage) Life and botany have their beautiful mysteries. Betsy's Choice Sage is one of them. We aren't certain of the parentage or history of this tall, attractive, fast-growing sage. However, we are certain that we love its long, royal purple flowers. Hummingbirds do as well.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Big Swing'

    (Big Swing Sage) With its large, cobalt blue flowers displayed on strong, wiry, branched stems, this eye-catching sage wins the FBTS "best of class" designation for being our top Salvia macrophylla.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Celestial Blue'

    (Celestial Blue Sage) Fast growing and adaptable, this sage is a chance hybrid between Cleveland Sage (Salvia clevelandii) -- also called California Blue Sage -- and California Rose Sage (Salvia pachyphylla). It may also be related to California Purple Sage (Salvia leucophylla).

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Christine Yeo'

    (Christine Yeo Sage) A chance hybrid of two Mexican sages --Salvia microphylla and S. chamaedryoides -- Christine Yeo Sage is long blooming and features deep purple flowers with white eyes.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Ember's Wish'

    (Ember's Wish Sage) Bright coral-colored, tubular blossoms contrast handsomely with the deep maroon stems, rusty rose calyxes and mid-green foliage of Ember's Wish Sage.

    10.50
     




Take a Quick Look at a group of Salvias
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Reviews


Plant is doing well but not yet the showy plant described. Providing great late summer color and survived a week of 100+ temps without any attention.
Ms. linda allen
Sep 7, 2017