This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum “New Front Yard” series, 41 drought-tolerant and beautiful plants well-adapted to our region.
Size: Under 4 feet tall
Bloom season: Spring and summer
Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks in summer after bloom. Prune to maintain a compact form.
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.
Snapshot: This California native is a woody evergreen shrub that grows up to 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide. The Winnifred Gilman variety produces maroon-stemmed, brilliant blue-violet flowers from mid-spring to early summer. The gray-green leaves have a deliciously strong fragrance. Hummingbirds and butterflies love this sage; so do bees. This variety of Cleveland sage particularly likes Sacramento’s weather. It is heat- and drought-tolerant – but not for gardens where water pools in winter. It can’t stand soggy roots. You can see specimens in the UC Davis Arboretum’s Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on campus.
• For more on the New Front Yard, click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
See photo galleries of the arboretum’s favorites at sacbee.com/home_garden.