Salvia columbariae Benth.
California sage, Chia, Golden chia
Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
USDA Symbol: saco6
Tiny, blue flowers are aggregated in several balls along the square stems of this 4-20 in. annual. The leaves are mostly basal, once or twice pinnate and velvety. California sage smells distinctly skunky.
Chia (pronounced chee-ah) is the common name for several Salvia species from which Indians made pinole; a meal ground from parched seeds. When steeped in water the seeds also produced a thick, mucilaginous drink.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
DistributionUSA: AZ , CA , NM , NV , UT
Native Distribution: S. CA to extreme s.w. UT, AZ & Sonoran Desert
Native Habitat: Open, dry, disturbed places
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: Propagate by divisions, rooted sections, or seeds.
Seed Collection: Collect the seeds as the capsules begin to dry but before they have dropped the seeds. Spread seeds in thin layers to dry a few days before storing dry in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Seed Treatment: Seed treatment varies among ecotypes. Generally dry storage and a period of stratification aids germination.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.View Recommended Species page
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Salvia columbariae in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Salvia columbariae in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Salvia columbariae
MetadataRecord Modified: 2010-04-18
Research By: TWC Staff