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.