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.
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
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.