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Salvia mellifera (Black sage)
Stone, Robert L.

Salvia mellifera

Salvia mellifera Greene

Black Sage, California Black Sage

Lamiaceae (Mint Family)


USDA Symbol: SAME3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

An openly branched, evergreen shrub, from 3-6 ft. tall. Pale blue, whitish or sometimes lavender flowers occur in compact balls.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall and 10 feet wide.
Fruit: Nutlets.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul
Bloom Notes: Pale bluish lavender to almost white.


Native Distribution: S. CA along Coast Ranges
Native Habitat: Dry slopes & flats below 2000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Description: Various soils.


Attracts: Butterflies

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 in fall outdoors.
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.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants 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

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-10-21
Research By: TWC Staff

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