The California sagebrush grows into a small to medium size shrub, 3-5 ft. tall, 5-7 ft. wide and is mostly comprised of soft herbaceous stems and foliage. Gray-green leaves are finely divided into linear segments and are highly aromatic when crushed. It’s sage-like scent lingers in the air and on clothing when the plant is brushed up against, popularizing the nickname, “Cowboy Cologne.” Flowers are inconspicuous.
California sagebrush is a signature species of the coastal sage plant and chaparral plant community throughout coastal and inland California from the Bay Area to Baja California. It is often found growing in the most difficult conditions, including poor soils, full sun and low moisture. In garden and landscape situations, it has shown high adaptability to sun, heat and drought, and does best in areas having good drainage. This species is commonly used for habitat value in restoration projects and in mixed California native gardens. It grows rapidly with winter moisture and will shed some of its leaves under drought stress.