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PlantFiles: Chia, Golden Chia, California Chia
Salvia columbariae

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: columbariae (kol-um-BAR-ee-ay) (Info)

Synonym:Salvia columbariae var. columbariae

» View all varieties of Salvias

One vendor has this plant for sale.

13 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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No positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral BajaBlue On Oct 7, 2009, BajaBlue from Rancho Santa Rita, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

A little annual sage that doesn't look like a sage. Not much scent but nice 1 inch flowers on a 1-2 foot plant. Native to Northern Mexico, desert southwest US and California on the south slopes on rock or gravel.

Chia grows commonly on disturbed soil. But highly variable, can grow in clay, in the desert grows only a few inches high.

It is a native American food. The Yarahumara indians and other tribes take the dried seeds and toast them, then mix with water and sweetener such as honey or pounded mesquite bean paste sugar.

The seeds cause the liquid to thicken up slightly into a refreshing thirst qunching protein and nutrient-filled tasty beverage. It helped humans to retain valuable body fluids and quench thirst.

The beverage is still popular nowadays. It's often served over ice. Lemon or lime juice can be added for even more refreshing flavor on a hot day!


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Tucson, Arizona
Malibu, California
Oak Park, California
Simi Valley, California

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