(Berkeley Barb Mountain Sage) California's Monterey Bay Nursery discovered a surprising Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla) seedling growing accidentally on its gravel floor one day.
That's how the popular Berzerkeley series of Mountain Sages was born. This one is a paler shade of hot pink than Berzerkely and is named for a counterculture newspaper published in Berkeley, California, from 1965 to 1980. It blooms spring to fall.
Mountain Sages are fragrant, heat tolerant and drought resistant. They are native to the American Southwest and Northern Mexico. In the U.S., they grow well in mild climates. Berkeley Barb's typical Mountain Sage foliage is deep green, veined and glossy. However, it is particularly dense.
Give Berkeley Barb full sun to partial shade, well-drained soil and average watering based on local conditions. It is an ideal groundcover, border plant or container plant, especially for dry gardens. Hummingbirds revel in its nectar.
Mountain Sages are the focus of research for their potential use in insecticides as well as medicines. Their plant chemicals contain antioxidant qualities and decrease gastrointestinal absorption of fats. We simply appreciate them for being easy to grow and pretty.