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Salvia apiana (White sage)
Smith, R.W.

Salvia apiana

Salvia apiana Jeps.

White Sage, California White Sage

Lamiaceae (Mint Family)


USDA Symbol: SAAP2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A low, soft-stemmed, aromatic subshrub with long wands of whitish-lavender flowers. Silvery foliage occurs in 2 ft. mounds, subtending the 5 ft. flowering stalks. A woody shrub, with erect whitish branches.

White Sage is a member of the mint family (family Lamiaceae), which includes aromatic herbs or shrubs (rarely trees or vines), usually with stems square in cross-section, four-sided.There are about 200 genera and 3,200 species, distributed nearly worldwide. The Mediterranean region, the chief area of diversity, produces many spices and flavorings, such as various mints, oregano, marjoram, thyme, sage, and basil. Catnip and lavender are in the mint family.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Size Notes: Usually up to about 5 feet tall, sometimes up to about 10 feet.
Fruit: Nutlets.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Purple
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug


Native Distribution: S. CA & adjacent Mex.
Native Habitat: Dry slopes below 5000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Description: Well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: Too rank for the garden but useful in sagebrush restorations. Requires summer drought.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Propagate by divisions, rooted sections, or seed sown outdoors in early fall.
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 in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Seed Treatment: No treatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 37 - Calscape (2019) California Native Plant Society
Webref 36 - Jepson eFlora (2019) The Jepson Herbarium, University of California, Berkeley
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Salvia apiana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Salvia apiana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Salvia apiana


Record Modified: 2023-02-24
Research By: TWC Staff

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