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Salvia dorrii

Desert Sage and Purple Sage.

1Gal Container (Up to 23)

Salvia dorrii, Desert Sage, Purple Sage, or Desert Purple Sage is a beautiful shrub, sub-shrub that grows to 2-3ft. with gray foliage and deep, deep blue flowers and purple bracts. Desert Sage needs perfect drainage (native on sand, volcanic rock to decomposed granite) and no water after established.

Salvia dorrii is the sage of riders of the purple sage and is native to much of the western deserts. I have seen them in the wild above Bishop in a rainfall area of about 10 inches that got to -10 in December 1990, but it also occurs further south in more reasonable spots overlooking the desert. Common associated plants are Yucca brevifolia, Stanleya species, Juniper species, Haplopappus linearifolius, Cotton Thorn (Tetradymia spp.), Atriplex canescens, Pinus monophylla, Artemisia tridentata and Eriogonum polifolium. A beautiful plant that works well in most desert gardens, and pseudo-desert gardens. Purple Sage is also a butterfly magnet.

Do not stick on drip irrigation in adobe and expect it to live. In most of coastal California these sage needs to be on a little mound of sand or gravel to be happy unless you are lucky enough to have a gravel soil. So if you're setting up a desert garden in Malibu, put down about a foot (or two) of plaster sand or good fill sand over the largest area you can, away from any oaks, pines or other trees and call it a 'desert', (Some extra gravel and perlite with a few boulders wouldn't hurt.). Purple desert sage mixed with the desert mallows, a Creosote and a few boulders and you have a show stopping 'desert'.

Great in a dry desert garden with fast drying soils. Extended soil temperatures below 20 F. do in a number of desert/mountain species. BUT, Salvia dorrii is hardy to most of the populated lower elevation areas of California.

Here's a native sage page where you can see all the Salvias of California.

Salvia dorrii tolerates sand.
Salvia dorrii is great for a bird garden and a butterfly garden.
Foliage of Salvia dorrii has color gray, is evergreen and has fragrance.
Flower of Salvia dorrii has color blue and has a fragrance.

Communities for Salvia dorrii:Joshua Tree Woodland, Pinyon-Juniper Woodland and Sagebrush Scrub.

ph: 6.00 to 7.80
usda: 6 to 10
height[m]: 0.50 to 1.00
width[m]: 0.50 to 1.00
rainfall[cm]: 24.00 to 75.00

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Edited on Jan 17, 2014. Authors:
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