Hummingbird sage

Salvia spathacea


The Hummingbird sage is a small ground hugging perennial typically growing 12-18 in. tall and can form small groups and spread many feet across. Large textured leaves grow 4-6 in. long; vigorous spikes with colorful deep magenta-red flowers occur in early spring.

Hummingbird sage is native to foothill regions from Orange County to the Bay Area. It frequently grows as an understory plant to native oaks and on grassy slopes in the southern oak woodland plant community. It develops strong rhizomes below ground that enables it to survive summer drought. Leaves and stems die back under drought stress. This species is a unique flowering and foliage accent plant that can be used along natural borders, under trees and in native plant gardens.

Plant Type: Perennial, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen, Drought deciduous
Habit: Clumping
Growth Rate: Moderate
Foliage Color: Medium green
Flower Color: Magenta
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Deep soil, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Morning sun, Moderate shade, Drought, Partial sun
Function: Wildlife value, Raised planters, Hummingbird plant, Flowering accent plant, Borders, Attracts butterflies, Small spaces
Height: 12 in. – 18 in.
Width: 18 in. – 24 in. then slowly spreading