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.
Bee's Bliss purple sage
Salvia leucophylla 'Bee's Bliss'
Size: Under 2 feet tall
Bloom season: Spring, summer
Exposure:Full sun to partial shade
Pruning needs: Little or none; remove spent flower stalks
Water needs: Once established, water deeply twice a month
Snapshot: As its name implies, this low-growing, pretty blue-purple sage is a favorite for bees and other beneficial insects. The attractive gray foliage forms a nearly evergreen groundcover with a beautiful spreading habit. Fast growing in sandy or well-drained soil, this perennial gets by with little summer water, too. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus.
Why it's a Favorite: "Prolific blue flowers in the spring provide bliss for bees," said arboretum volunteer Candace Cross-Drew. "Nice gray foliage the rest of the year. Does not tolerate much water; definitely drought tolerant."
Read more about the Arboretum's 75th anniversary at arboretum75th.ucdavis.edu. For more on the Community Favorites and Arboretum All-Stars, click on http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu