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New Front Yard: Red autumn sage ( Salvia greggii) is a low-water favorite of hummingbirds.

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New Front Yard: Autumn sage blooms spring until frost

Published: Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014 - 12:00 am
Last Modified: Thursday, Sep. 18, 2014 - 7:53 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.

Red autumn sage

Salvia greggii “Flame”

Size: Under 4 feet tall

Bloom season: Spring, summer, fall

Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks. Prune to maintain compact shape.

Exposure: Full sun to partial shade

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.

• For more on the New Front Yard, click on

Debbie Arrington

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See photo galleries of the arboretum’s Community Favorites and Arboretum All-Stars at

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