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

Water Wise Plants

Salvia spathacea

SAL-vee-a spa-THAY-see-a
Common Name
Hummingbird Sage
Plant Type
Mature Size
1-2 ft high x spreading
Water Requirements
Very Low: water deeply several times a summer
Sun/Shade Requirements
Full to half sun, shade
  • Hummingbirds
Flower Color
Maintenance- Design- Planting Tips

Salvia spathacea is a California native plant with an unusually (for California natives) lush appearance. The leaves of this plant are large and can grow up to a foot in length.

The plant spreads by underground rhizomes and can eventually cover a large area. Hummingbird sage can make a colorful ground cover in dry, shady conditions.

From spring until fall, flowering stems appear above the foliage. The flower clusters are spaced evenly along the stems creating a bold vertical accent. Light pruning after blooming will help keep this plant neat.

PADG Notes: In the PADG Water Wise Garden, we found that too much summer sun burned the leaves and made the plant unattractive. Also, our hummingbird sage spread more aggressively than had been anticipated. A few runners were replanted to shadier spots under oak trees and will be monitored carefully. 

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