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Community favorite: Red autumn sage

Published: Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 8CALIFORNIA LIFE
Last Modified: Friday, Aug. 16, 2013 - 7:40 pm

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Community Favorites, 75 can't-fail, easy-care plants well-adapted to our region and recommended by local gardeners.

Red autumn sage

Salvia greggii "Flame"

Size: Under 4 feet tall

Bloom season: Spring, summer, fall

Exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks. Prune to maintain compact shape.

Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

Snapshot:Its nickname is autumn sage, but that belies its long bloom season. This colorful shrub actually produces loads of bright orange-red flowers from spring until frost. These showy blooms are a hummingbird magnet. Beneficial insects like them, too. This drought- and heat-tolerant favorite thrives in Sacramento gardens with little care or water. You can see specimens in bloom in the Arboretum's Terrace Garden and the Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus.

Why it's a Favorite: "I get to watch a hummingbird feast on its nectar out of my breakfast window almost every morning," said arboretum docent Lois Crowe.

• Read more about the Arboretum's 75th anniversary at http://arboretum75th.ucdavis.edu. For more on the Community Favorites and Arboretum All-Stars, click on http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

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