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Santa Rosa Island Sage
Salvia brandegeei
About Santa Rosa Island Sage (Salvia brandegeei) Nurseries Show All Photos Salvia brandegeei is a herbaceous perennial evergreen shrub in the Lamiaceae (Mint) family that grows to 3-4 feet in its native habitat. For many years, it was thought to be native only to Santa Rosa Island, one of the Channel Islands of California. In the 1960s and 1970s six colonies were found in Baja California. Due to its limited distribution in the wild, it is included in CNPS list 1B.2. It is named after Kate Brandegee, a pioneering field botanist in California and Baja. In cultivation, the plant will reach 4-5 feet tall and up to 7 feet wide. It has dark green scalloped leaves, about 3-4 inches long and 0.5 inch wide. The pale blue or lavender flowers are about 0.5 inch long, in tightly spaced whorls. The violet-gray calyx, combined with the wide open flower lips, make it a very showy flower. It is best used very near the coast (within about 10 miles) in the central or southern part of the state.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3.3 - 5 ft (1 - 1.5 m)

Max. Width
4 ft (1.2 m)


Fragrant - Pleasant

Growth Rate


Flower Color
White, Lavender, Purple, Blue

Flowering Season

Native Status
Natural Setting
Site Type
Relatively dry hillsides and canyons of Santa Rosa Island and northwest Baja


Elevation ?
32' - 1092'

Annual Precip. ?
11.7" - 14.7"

Summer Precip. ?
0.15" - 0.18"

Coldest Month ?
49.3° F - 53.9° F

Hottest Month ?
62.7° F - 66.8° F

Humidity ?
1.48 vpd - 11.84 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates sandy or clay soil

Soil PH
6.0 - 8.0

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 0° F

Companion Plants
In its native habitat it is found with a variety of chaparral and sage scrub species such as Manzanita (Arctostaphylos sp.), Ceanothus sp. (arboreus or megacarpus var. insularis), Island Tree Poppy (Dendromecon harfordii), Encelia californica, Golden Yarrow (Eriophyllum confertiflorum), Sagebrush (Artemisia californica), Island Bristleweed (Hazardia detonsa), Island Mallow (Lavatera Assurgentiflora), Sticky Monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus), Goldenbush (Isocoma menziesii), Holly-leaf Cherry (Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii), and with larger trees such as Island Ironwood (Lyonothamnus floribundus), Oaks (Quercus sp.) and Pine species, esp. Torrey Pine (Pinus torreyana)

Wildlife Attracted
Hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers, as well as numerous insects including bees and butterflies

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low, Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Seldom Used

Max. Summer Water ?
1x/month, 2x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

Prune to shape in late summer or early fall

Propagation ?
Seeds or cuttings

Common uses
Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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