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Pink Sage, Pink Cat's Whiskers, Shell Bush

Orthosiphon labiatus

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Orthosiphon (or-tho-SY-fon) (Info)
Species: labiatus (la-bee-AH-tus) (Info)


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:



Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Roseville, California

Stockton, California

Daytona Beach, Florida

Delray Beach, Florida

Greenville, Pennsylvania

Spring, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 19, 2012, anonapersona from Spring, TX wrote:

I have this shrub growing on the north side of the house in an irrigated bed where it gets sun at some points in the day and in the year. It blooms nicely in light shade. I thought it would be tender but it has been semi-evergreen in a mild winter and in a harsh winter with several days of below freezing temps that left it bare and crispy, it returned from the roots. I am going to try to propagate it. I've read that it can be easily done by seed but I do not see any volunteers nearby. I will try cuttings first, then look for ripe seeds.


On Dec 15, 2010, kasha111_ from Greenville, PA wrote:

I love this plant for my hummingbirds and for all bees. I do not use sugared water, but I like to grow plants that attract the birds and butterflies and bees. This last season our local greenhouse ran out of this pink sage, so I purchased a red sage which is supposed to attract the bees and hummers. I was so disappointed and so were the humming birds. I highly reccomend this pink sage to attract both. I used cages to keep the flower spikes from breaking. Plant have non stop flowers from summer to frost. I also deadheaded the spent spikes to get more blooms. Also, plant did reseed itself, but it was too late in the season. So buy plants ready to plant into your bed. I had mine in full sun.


On Sep 20, 2006, PudgyMudpies from Stockton, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I love this plant! It is a profuse bloomer and does well in full shade even though it is listed as a sun/pt sun grower. Butterflies love it and I have even seen a hummingbird over there, but there are other things blooming in the same area so cannot say for sure that it was this plant it was coming for.
Edited to add that today I saw a hummingbird at this plant and I was close enough to see that he was indeed going from flower to flower, so this plant IS attractive to hummingbirds :~)