Hummingbird Sage is an one foot high perennial that spreads by rhizomes. This sage is native to coastal California from Napa to Orange. As the name implies Hummingbirds work this species very heavily. The flowers are magenta, 1" long with 10-20 on a 1-2' spike. Hummingbird sage is native in a rainfall range of 20-35". It had trouble here during our drought but seems to be ok down to 15" rainfall/year. It grows on red clay under chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum) in full sun in a winter seep that gets to 120 degrees F. in the summer. It also grows under oaks and Madrone (Arbutus menziesii)in full shade on serpentine soils within sight of the ocean. Ours froze to the ground at 0 degrees F. but came back. We have many forms. LP's main claim to fame is that it grows in full sun associated with Adenostoma. Seasonal wet in winter and hot and dry in summer. L.P. is nearly flat growing to only a few inches tall. . The regular form grows in the Santa Lucia mountains to the Santa Monica mountains under oaks. We also grow a form from a friend's place in Topanga Canyon called 'Topanga'. (Original isn't it?.) 'Power Line' is still another form . P.L. is big! The flower spike can be head high(sometimes it wants to in a gallon pot).Hummingbirds stake it out. Hummingbird sage has proven deer proof on all sites (so far). It has also been real easy for us. Water extra in winter and trim it lightly in late summer if it looks tacky. Common associated plants are Paeonia, Satureja douglasii, and Solidago(all forms). Here's a native
sage page where you can see all the Salvias of California.
Here are some other Hummingbird Sages we grow.
hummingbird sage is lower and grows under bushes.
hummongbird sage is taller and has a pinker flower.
Salvia spathacea tolerates clay and serpentine.
Salvia spathacea is great for a bird garden.
Foliage of Salvia spathacea has color green, is evergreen and has fragrance.
Flower of Salvia spathacea has color red and has a fragrance.
Communities for Salvia spathacea:Chaparral, Coastal Strand, Southern Oak Woodland and Central Oak Woodland.