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Cleveland Sage
Salvia clevelandii
About Cleveland Sage (Salvia clevelandii) Nurseries Show All Photos Cleveland Sage is a beautiful, fast growing and highly aromatic species of sage native to the coast of southern California and northern Baja California. Its common names include Blue sage, Fragrant sage, and Cleveland sage. This is a small, hairy, grey-green shrub native to the chaparral and coastal sage scrub plant communities of the region. It has wrinkly leather-textured leaves with tiny ridged teeth along the edges and it bears plentiful rounded flower clusters of tubular lavender to dark purple flowers with long stamens. The fruit is a spotted nutlet. Hummingbirds are very attracted to this plant.

Plant Clevelend Sages on well-drained flats, bluffs or gentle slopes for best results. Limit summer water to no more than once per month, and if possible, naturalize after the first or second year. If this plant gets too much water it will often die after 2-3 years. It is somewhat more tolerant of garden watering in very well drained soils. Cultivars and hybrids include:
'Winnifred Gilman', a popular cultivar with intense violet-blue flowers. 'Betsy Clebsch', a shorter cultivar with wide variation in flower color. 'Allen Chickering', 'Aromas', 'Pozo Blue', 'Santa Cruz Dark', and 'Whirly Blue' are hybrids with similar appearance.
Salvia clevelandii is one of the parents of the hybrid Salvia 'Celestial Blue'.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3 - 4.5 ft (0.9 - 1.4 m)

Max. Width
8 ft (2.4 m)


Fragrant - Pleasant

Growth Rate
Fast, Moderate


Grey-green in color, oval, wrinkled texture, 2-4 cm long. Some consider it to be the most pleasantly fragrant foliage of any Salvia.

Flower Color
Blue, Purple, Lavender

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Coastal to inland hills, canyons, bluffs and mesas as a component of mixed chaparral or coastal sage scrub

Part Shade, Sun

Elevation ?
3' - 7631'

Annual Precip. ?
9.4" - 35.3"

Summer Precip. ?
0.17" - 2.42"

Coldest Month ?
36.0° F - 55.4° F

Hottest Month ?
60.9° F - 79.7° F

Humidity ?
1.10 vpd - 27.70 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerant of a variety of soils, although performs better in well drained soils

Soil Texture
Clay Loam, Loam, Loamy Sand, Sand, Sandy Clay, Sandy Clay Loam, Sandy Loam, Silt Clay Loam

Soil PH
6.0 - 8.0


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 20° F

Sunset Zones ?
7, 8, 9, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Companion Plants
Chamise, Woolly Bluecurls, White Sage, California Buckwheat, California Coffeeberry, Toyon, Lemonade Berry, Coastal Prickly Pear Cactus, Manzanita species, Yucca spp,

Wildlife Attracted
Hummingbirds, insects

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy, Moderately Easy

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

Very Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

May be deadheaded to extend blooming season. May be pruned in Fall to reduce size.

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment; sow outdoors in early fall. Germination may be poor if diurnal fluctuation is insufficient; also see alternative treatments for S. mellif era.

Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Deer Resistant, Hummingbird Gardens, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Blue Sage, Fragrant Sage

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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