Bee file / Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

Salvia leucophylla

Community favorite: Bee's Bliss purple sage

Published: Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 6CALIFORNIA LIFE
Last Modified: Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012 - 8:52 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.

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

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