Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: White Sage
Salvia apiana

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: apiana (a-PEE-an-uh) (Info)

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7 vendors have this plant for sale.

46 members have or want this plant for trade.

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24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

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)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

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

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 17 photos.
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5 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive ClimbTheMtns On Jul 4, 2012, ClimbTheMtns from Walnut Creek, CA wrote:

Stake the flower stalks as they sometimes break from the weight of Gold Finches or other types of finches that LOVE the seeds. I always let ours go to seed for the birds. Easy to grow from seed.

Positive Dionkar333 On Jun 2, 2011, Dionkar333 from San Jose, CA wrote:

@Lilithu: Artemisia Apiana is a non-existent plant. Sagebrush is Artemisia Tridentata. The Native Americans used and still use Salvia Apiana and Salvia Officinalis, among other plants. Please, get your facts straight before posting misleading information for those who would not know better.

Salvia Apiana is not toxic. In fact, it is used to cleanse the body, and has been proven useful against colds and coughs.

I find this to be a very charming plant. The history of it is attractive, but so is the foliage and the smell. Some people don't like the smell, but I think it is wonderful. White Sage is excellent for xeriscaping, and I have it planted in the most neglected parts of my garden and it is thriving. I had no problem growing it from seed, and this has definitely become a lifelong addition to my garden.

Positive Lilithu On Apr 5, 2011, Lilithu from Springfield, TN wrote:

I think people have been confusing this herb with Sagebrush (Artemisia apiana) - folk name - White sage. That is the herb that the American Indians used in smudging - so maybe this sage is one to avoid IF toxic. I grew this herb thinking it was Sagebrush - but still attractive & I'm sure it will be fine to use for smudging in place of Sagebrush - maybe just be careful with the fumes!

Positive SohamArt On Aug 21, 2010, SohamArt from Henderson, NV wrote:

GROWING IT: While establishing it needs regular watering, then reduce to little water or you will reduce the plants life span. 4th year growing it in the Mojave Desert in full sun, doesn't flinch in 100-120 degrees when other plants go into a 'dormant-state'. Almost maintence free; just cut back the flower stalks.

USES: I & the humming birds absolutely love this plant; they guard it & have nested nearby. Soft breezes scent the garden. Fresh/dry herbs for cooking and teas. Cuttings for smudge sticks & potpourri/sachets. Therapeutic dry bath a dog with fresh leaves; rub all over. The herbal/therapeutic uses/benefits are vast; it is necessary & easy to self-educate. One mature plant is sufficient for the averge famies needs.

BUGS & CATS: Adding dried leaves to mulch in the vegi garden keeps many bugs at bay. Cats cringe & sneeze at the scent; good to keep them out of the garden.

Positive paracelsus On Apr 6, 2008, paracelsus from Elmira, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Smudging with this plant will not make a pregnant woman miscarry or nauseous. In fact, among the native peoples who use it, this plant is specifically used during childbirth.

Please don't post hearsay about herbs. When you post an assertion about toxicity, give references to back up your assertions.

This plant is great to grow in warm environments. Growing your own will mean less stripping of the herb in the wild.

Neutral daisyavenue On Aug 27, 2004, daisyavenue from Long Beach, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

This is a lovely fragrant salvia and may be divided at the roots but be careful as it does not like being translplanted very much. It is best (and very easy) to propagate buy cuttings.

Negative siren On Apr 7, 2003, siren wrote:

On TOXICITY of Salvia Apiana: many people burn the dried leaves of this plant an an aromatherapeutic incense, or "smudge" (a Native American cleansing practice). The smoke of the burning herb is toxic to pregnant women (will cause nausea/vomiting, and may in extreme cases cause miscarriage).

Neutral Lilith On Aug 10, 2001, Lilith from Durham
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

Culinary, decorative and medicinal use. Sort of a woody plant. Used to make smudge sticks in cermonies in Native American rituals. Aromatic. Used in honey. Many medicinal and household uses. It's more of a shrub, really. Harvest after plants have established themselves. In the second and following years, cut the stems about a half foot from soil as flowers bloom. Then hang upside down in ventilated dry room.


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

Orange Beach, Alabama
West Blocton, Alabama
Cornville, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Aliso Viejo, California
Ceres, California
Elk Grove, California
Fontana, California
Fremont, California
Hesperia, California
Knights Landing, California
Lake San Marcos, California
Long Beach, California
Merced, California
Oceanside, California
Palm Springs, California
Rancho Palos Verdes, California
Richmond, California
Riverside, California
San Diego, California
San Jose, California
Santa Clara, California
Temecula, California
Ventura, California
Vista, California
Loxahatchee, Florida
Townsend, Georgia
Hagerman, Idaho
Dighton, Massachusetts
Halifax, Massachusetts
Saint Louis, Missouri
Henderson, Nevada
Rodeo, New Mexico
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Austin, Texas
Belton, Texas
Roy, Utah

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