| (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 the wild and close to the ocean at Point Sal near Santa Barbara. Heat and drought tolerant, it also withstands direct ocean spray. This plant has no rival as a large scale ground cover or bank cover for areas that are dry in summer.|
Commonly known as Purple Sage for its flowers or Gray Sage for its silvery, velvety, foliage, this hardy salvia is highly regarded for attracting small wildlife including songbirds, which love its tasty seed and the insects it attracts. The Point Sal variety is shorter and spreads further than the species.
However, similar to the species, the Point Sal plant is well known for being highly aromatic and growing into a dense, silvery mound with fragrant flowers that last from late winter to spring. It loves full sun and well-drained soil.
This variety has a broader range than the species, because it grows well in Zone 10 along with Zones 8 and 9. Being cold hardy to at least 15 degrees F, it is worth trying in some Zone 7 areas. All this hardy sage requires is well-drained soil and full sun.
We would use this shrub in the landscape even if it didn't flower, because its long, fuzzy, gray-green leaves with serrated edges are so appealing. Aside from being a great large-scale groundcover that takes minimal care, it is also a handsome screen or border plant for dry gardens.
(Canyon Belle Dwarf Coral Bells) Heuchera is commonly called Alum Root or Coral Bells. Canyon Belle has red flowers and glossy green, scalloped foliage.
Although Heucheras are known for their extravagantly colorful, foliage, this species is from the Heuchera Canyon Quartet Series, which was bred for its vivid yet airy flowers and compact size.
Heucheras are easy-to-grow woodland plants that are native to North America from California east to Florida and north to Canada. In the wild, they grow in canyons and desert seeps as well as on hillsides and rock croppings. The late botanist Dara Emery of Santa Barbara Botanic Garden developed the Quartet Series.
The astringent alum in Heuchera roots is sometimes used in pickling foods and in folk remedies for problems such as sore throats.
Long blooming, Canyon Belle grows up to 1 foot tall and wide in well-drained soil. It does well in partial shade to full sun; locations with morning sun and afternoon shade are particularly good choices. Although it thrives on average watering, Canyon Belle is drought resistant. It also tolerates hot summers, cold winters and salt spray.
Try this clumping, quick-growing Heuchera as a border, container or edging plant. It also forms a lovely groundcover in dry shade. Honeybees love it, and so do we.
Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, known as the father of taxonomy, named plants for friends. He honored German botanist Johann Heinrich von Heucher (pronounced "Hoyker") by naming Heuchera ("Hoy-ker-uh") for him. Collection of the genus in America dates back to 1601.
(Starlight Sage) This is a white-flowering hybrid of White Sage (Salvia apiana) and Black Sage (Salvia mellifera), two California natives often seen growing together in the wild. Similar to Black Sage, it blooms from spring into summer, attracting honeybees. In contrast, White Sage is a winter-to-spring bloomer.
The foliage of Starlight Sage closely resembles the silvery whitish green of White Sage, but it doesn't have that plant's typical pink or lavender flowers. But similar to its parents, it is powerfully fragrant, drought tolerant and heat resistant.
This compact, tough sage comes from the world famous Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Southern California, which is renowned for its collection of California native plants.
Highly recommended. Limited availability.
Hummingbirds love Salvia (sage) nectar and are attracted to it by the bright colors of tubular sage blossoms. In particular, these little whirlybirds can easily spot flowers in the red spectrum, which is prevalent among sages. Here are some hummingbird gardening tips.
Fragrance as well as color attracts butterflies. However, they don't have noses. Instead, butterflies smell and taste with their antennas and feet. Here are some ways to attract them:
If you live in suburbs or rural areas where deer plunder gardens, Salvias (sages) can be part of your plan for discouraging these hungry visitors. Here are some tips.