Hummingbird Sage or California Pitcher Sage is one of the flashiest of the California native sage species. These plants do best in partial to full shade, and can be found in the wild in the damp under-story of native oak groves and riparian woodlands. The leaves have a strong, pleasant herbal smell.
When it blooms, this sage sends up a single hefty burgundy spike with magenta blossoms and a fruity aroma. The large flowers attract migratory hummingbirds and other pollinators.
Since this plant spreads underground with rhizomes, it is easy to grow in attractive patches. Certain cultivated varieties have yellow instead of magenta flowers, and all are a stunning addition to any native or low-water landscaping.
Growth Form/Defining Characteristics: large dark-green herb up to with slightly fuzzy leaves and a single flower spike up to 4’ tall.
Light: deep shade to partial sun
Water: drought-tolerant once established
Soil: rich loam, potting soil
Hardiness: USDA zone 9-11