Salvia spathacea
Photo by Back to Natives

hummingbird sage

This plant grows well in the following regions:

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



Native to low elevations of Coast Ranges in California. Hardy to 20 F. Foliage mass to 1-2 ft high, 3-4 ft or more wide. Spreads by rhizomes. Evergreen, scalloped, wrinkled leaves with a light, fruity aroma. Flower stems rise 2-3 ft above the leaves and carry many large, ball-shaped whorls of magenta or rosy red flowers. Blooms throughout spring with some repeat in fall.

Can survive with low water but prefers moderate water, Tolerates regular garden water. ‘Kawatre’ has deep magenta flowers that age to orange-red and is hardy to 10 F.

Foliage forms a low mass with flower stalks holding clusters of magenta flowers rising above (magnet for hummingbirds). Requires partial shade and moderate water. Great for dry shade.

Sun needs:

  • Partial sun
  • Shade

Water needs:

  • Medium water
  • Low water
Water needs information from WUCOLS unless otherwise noted