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 You are here    Flowers by the Sea / Categories / Salvias by Origin / California Natives
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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(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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(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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(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.
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(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.
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(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.

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(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).

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(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.

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(Grey Musk Sage) Lavender flowered, this is a fast-growing, chance hybrid of California Blue Sage (Salvia clevelandii) and California Purple Sage (Salvia leucophylla).
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(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. Starlight blooms from winter into summer, attracting honeybees.

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