This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Garden Gems” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and that add sparkle to drought-tolerant landscapes.
Spreading purple sage
Salvia leucophylla ‘Point Sal’
Size: To 3 feet tall and 8 feet wide.
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Bloom season: Lavender pink flowers in spring and summer.
Exposure: Full sun.
Pruning needs: Cut back by one third after flowering.
Water needs: Low to very low; once established, water deeply once a month or every other week.
Snapshot: A spreading California native shrub, this low-growing purple sage adapts well to areas that are hard to landscape. With attractive silver-gray foliage, it’s useful for sloped banks and large areas with little irrigation. Besides covering ground, this shrub is good for hummingbirds and butterflies. Lavender pink whorls of “shish-ka-bob” flower spikes appear in spring and summer. These blooms dry to an interesting copper-brown color, which makes them useful in dried arrangements.
For more on “Garden Gems,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.