Alphabetical Plant Listing

Salvia spathacea (Hummingbird Sage)

Hummingbird Sage, Pitcher Sage


Prized for its attractive flowers and pleasant scent, Salvia spathacea (Hummingbird Sage) is a semi-evergreen, spreading perennial boasting brilliant flowers borne in large pagoda-like whorls on upright, stout stems. The flower stems rise 2-3 ft. above the foliage and may carry up to 10-20 rose-pink blossoms in maroon calyxes, with large maroon bracts under each whorl. Blooming throughout spring into summer, with some repeat in fall, the blossoms are very attractive to hummingbirds. Both bracts and calyxes remain showy for weeks after the flowers fade. They are borne atop a pleasantly aromatic foliage of arrow-shaped, scalloped, wrinkled, bright green leaves, 6-10 in. long (15-25 cm). Vigorous, Hummingbird Sage is useful in dry shade and adds rich color and attractive foliage to beds and borders, along paths or as a small-scale ground cover. Evergreen in mild winter climates.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Grows up to 1-3 ft. tall (30-90 cm) and 3-5 ft. wide (90-150 cm). Hummingbird Sage spreads slowly by underground rhizomes, forming a dense foliage mat.
  • Thrives in full sun to partial shade in light, moderately fertile, well-drained soils. Provide little to occasional irrigation (once or twice a month) after the first year. Drought tolerant once established.
  • Easy to grow, fairly pest and disease free, it attracts butterflies and hummingbirds but is deer resistant.
  • Perfect for beds and borders, wall-side borders, city gardens, coastal gardens, cottage gardens, Mediterranean gardens. Lovely groundcover for the dry shade garden.
  • Remove flower spikes as they fade to prolong flowering.
  • Propagate by seed.
  • Native to southern and central California. Endemic to the California coast, with a range that stretches from Orange County to the Napa Valley.

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Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Climate Zones 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Salvia - Sages
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Spread 3' – 5' (90cm – 150cm)
Spacing 48" – 60" (120cm – 150cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ground Covers, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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Bri Weldon, Joe Decruyenaere (Flickr)

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Climate Zones 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Salvia - Sages
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Spread 3' – 5' (90cm – 150cm)
Spacing 48" – 60" (120cm – 150cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ground Covers, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Salvia - Sages

Guides with Salvia - Sages

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