UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Water Wise Plants

Lepechina hastata

le-peh-KIN-ee-uh hass-TAH-tuh
Common Name
Pitcher Sage
Plant Type
Mature Size
3 ft. tall and wide in low water gardens
Water Requirements
Very Low: water deeply several times a summer
Sun/Shade Requirements
Full to half sun
Flower Color
  • Bees
  • Deer resistant
  • Hummingbirds
Maintenance- Design- Planting Tips

Pitcher sage is an aromatic member of the mint family that is attractive in wild gardens. In late summer these plants have reddish purple flowers on medium-sized spikes. Hummingbirds and bees love them, so they add quite a bit of life to a garden. Another nice feature is the plant has large leaves, which is a nice contrast to many plants from the Mediterranean region that have smaller foliage.

One caution about these plants: Some reference books say this plant can get up to 6 feet tall, but in the Palo Alto Demonstration Garden they have stayed a modest 3 feet tall and wide. The trick is not to overwater them.

Although some pitcher sages are native to California, Lepechinia hastata is from Mexico.

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