San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature ConnectionSDNHM Field Guide
White Sage (Salvia apiana) Salvia apiana
White Sage

LAMIACEAE (Mint Family)

Generic name comes from Latin: to save, referring to its medicinal use. The specific epithet refers to bees which are greatly attracted to the aromatic flowers. Also called Salvia Blanca (Spanish).


The White Sage plant is a perennial cottony-white herb. It grows from two to five feet high. The flowers are white with a tinge of lavender and bloom during summer. Young leaves are a gray-green in color with the mature leaves being a smooth white.

Range and Habitat

White Sage grows in the southern California coastal ranges and desert areas.

Natural History

White Sage grows along dry hillsides and can be found in clay, loam, and granite scree. Bumblebees, hawk moths and wasps pollinate the White Sage. Hummingbirds appear to like the plant.

Text by Connie Gatlin
Photo credit: Liz Paegel

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