Salvia apiana
Photo by John Rusk

white sage

This plant grows well in the following regions:

  • CVCentral Valley
  • DTDesert
  • NCNorth and Central Coast
  • SCSouth Coast
Map of regions (click to enlarge)
map of California regions



White sage is one of the cornerstone species of coastal sage scrub habitat in Southern California and Baja California. Help native bees and birds by planting it in your yard instead of Echium candicans (Pride-of-Madeira), which reseeds itself and is invasive on the coast.

White sage will grow 3-5 feet tall with flower spikes 6 feet and taller. It likes sunny, dry slopes, almost gravelly soil, and no extra water after the first year. A sure way to kill it would be to water an established plant in the summer, so don't place it near plants that require summer water. California buckwheat, black sage, California sagebrush, and Chamise are some good companion plants.

White sage was used extensively by Native Americans for ceremonial and other purposes.

***Do not poach white sage from wildlands! Grow your own and respect this plant and the significance of it.

Sun needs:

  • Full sun

Water needs:

  • Low water
  • Very low water
Water needs information from WUCOLS unless otherwise noted