Ellen Zagory/Courtesy of UC Davis

New Front Yard: Salvia clevelandii ‘Winnifred Gilman’ — a Cleveland sage — is a California native plant with blue-violet flowers, a favorite for hummingbirds and butterflies. This perennial also is part of the UC Davis Arboretum All-Star collection of drought-tolerant plants.

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New Front Yard: Cleveland sage right at home in Sacramento gardens

Published: Saturday, Apr. 5, 2014 - 12:00 am
Last Modified: Friday, Jul. 18, 2014 - 6:56 pm

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.

Cleveland sage

Salvia clevelandii

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.

More online

See photo galleries of the arboretum’s favorites at sacbee.com/home_garden.

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