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This sage looks smart in fall, spring and summer

Life After Lawn: Scott’s red autumn sage is a favorite of hummingbirds. Despite its name, this sage also blooms in spring and summer.
Life After Lawn: Scott’s red autumn sage is a favorite of hummingbirds. Despite its name, this sage also blooms in spring and summer.

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Life After Lawn” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and ideal for drought-tolerant landscapes.

Scott’s red autumn sage

Salvia x jamensis “Scott’s Red”

Size: Up to 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide at maturity

Bloom season: Vivid red blooms in early spring and again in fall

Exposure: Full sun

Pruning needs: Prune to shape in late winter or early spring.

Water needs: Low; once established, water deeply every two weeks or once a month.

Snapshot: It may be called “autumn,” but this beautiful red sage starts blooming in spring and keeps on going. A hybrid with intermediate form, Scott’s red is considered one of the best red bush sages. It first comes into bloom early in spring. Red tubular flowers cover the bush, much to the delight of hummingbirds. Then again in fall, this sage puts on another dramatic show. In between, it never completely goes out of flower during warm summer months. The smooth, pointed foliage is also attractive.

For more on “Life After Lawn,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

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