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Arboretum Spotlight: San Diego sage grows great in Sacramento

Arboretum Spotlight: San Diego sage is an attractive native flower that bees and hummingbirds love.
Arboretum Spotlight: San Diego sage is an attractive native flower that bees and hummingbirds love.

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “40 Plants You (Probably) Have Never Heard of – But Will Love,” 40 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region but hard to find.

San Diego sage

Salvia clevelandii “Aromas”

Size: Up to 4 feet tall and wide.

Bloom season: Very long; violet flowers from spring through late fall.

Exposure: Full sun.

Pruning needs: Prune by one-third in winter after bloom season to encourage new growth from the base.

Water needs: Low water; once established, water deeply twice a month.

Snapshot: This lovely aromatic California native is a favorite with both people and wildlife. Native to the dry hillside slopes of San Diego County, its pewter gray leaves contrast with garden greens and are intensely fragrant. (On a warm night, their scent travels 20 feet or more.) A compact and rounded shrub, this sage has a woody base that sprouts tall stalks of flowers for more than six months a year. The unusual color of these lovely whorls of flowers is described as “dauphine violet.” Another plus: San Diego sage attracts bees and hummingbirds.

For more on “40 Plants,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

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