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Salvia spathacea (Hummingbird sage)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Salvia spathacea

Salvia spathacea Greene

Hummingbird Sage, Pitcher Sage

Lamiaceae (Mint Family)


USDA Symbol: sasp3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

This perennial spreads by rhizomes and bears upright stems with several pairs of broad, quilted, light-green, aromatic leaves. The flower spikes rise above the leaves to 2-3 ft. in height and bear large, tubular, magenta-colored flowers.

As its name suggests, this plant is often visited by hummingbirds.


From the Image Gallery

9 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Fruit: Nutlets.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Pink
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug


Native Distribution: C. & s. CA Coast Ranges
Native Habitat: Open or shaded slopes below 2000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Various mesic to slightly moist soils.
Conditions Comments: This perennial is easy to grow and deer proof.


Description: Propagate by divisions, rooted sections, or seed sown outdoors in 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

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


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 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-27
Research By: TWC Staff

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