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.
(Sacred White Sage) Bees, hummingbirds and spiritual blessings are all connected to Salvia apiana, an elegant shrubby sage that is an important herb to indigenous Californians. It deserves a place in salvia gardens that can meet its demands. Stiff and almost fleshy, its leaves are tight rosettes of brilliant, silvery green that is almost white.
(Compact Sacred White Sage) Salvia apiana var. compacta is significantly shorter than the common species of Sacred White Sage and somewhat more cold tolerant. Its smaller leaves and compact form make it a tidier choice for home gardens with the right kind of growing conditions.
(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.
(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.
(California Purple Sage or California Gray Sage) This California native is commonly known as Purple Sage for its flowers or Gray Sage for its silvery, velvety foliage. Due also to its hardiness, drought tolerance and ability to attract small wildlife, it is a joy in the dry garden.
(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.
(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.
(Giant Purple Desert Sage) It’s best to plant this flamboyant native of the Southwest in spring or summer. However, once established, it tolerates winters from USDA Zones 5 to 9. Purple tubular flowers and burgundy bracts flare up its 10-inch flower spikes like flames on this softly rounded shrub.
(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.
(Apricot Rose Hummingbird Sage) Large clusters of warm, apricot colored blossoms that age to a warm pink top the tall, thick flower spikes of this sage. This variety was selected from our warm apricot to peach seed strain and has truly unique coloration.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(Bee's Bliss Sage) If you are looking for a California native sage to use as a groundcover, Bee's Bliss is a fine choice. Low-growing, widespreading and colorful, it is ideal for choking weeds.
(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).
(Gayle Nielson Hybrid Sage) Whorl-like clusters of violet-blue flowers on slender stems as well as its height and width indicate that Gayle Nielson Hybrid Sage is related to some form of Salvia clevelandii.
(Starlight Sage) Add sparkle to your dry garden with the pale pastel flowers of this hybrid of two Southern California native plants often seen growing together in the wild — Black Sage (Salvia mellifera) and White Sage (Salvia apiana). Salvia x 'Starlight' is a shrub that blooms early and long, attracting honeybees but not deer.