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Chia
Salvia columbariae
  
About Chia (Salvia columbariae) 10 Nurseries Carry This Plant Salvia columbariae is an annual plant of the Lamiaceae (Mint) family. It is commonly called Chia or Golden Chia. It grows in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Sonora, and Baja California. In California it is found in the Coast Ranges and southern Sierras. Stem hairs are generally short and sparse in distribution. Oblong-ovate leaves are 2 to 10 centimeter long and form a distincvt basal rosette. Flower stalks rise from the base and grow to 10 to 50 centimeters. The calyx is 8 to 10 millimeters long and the upper lip is unlobed but has 2 to 3 awns; the lower lip is about twice the size of the upper lip. Flower color can be pale to bright blue or purple tipped. The fruit of S. columbariae is a nutlet, tan to grey in color, and 1.5 to 2 millimeter in length. Once an important food for Native Americans. Today it is most often grown from seed, but germination can be difficult (see propagation below).
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Annual herb

Size
Size
0.33 - 1.6 ft tall
1 ft wide

Form
Form
Upright

Fragrance
Fragrance
Slight

Flower Color
Flower Color
Blue, Purple

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Spring

Wildlife Supported
 


 
Butterflies & moths hosted ( 10 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Full Sun

Moisture
Moisture
Extremely Low, Very Low

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 2x / month once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Fast, Medium, Slow

Soil Description
Soil Description
Prefers sandy, well drained soil but tolerates clay. Soil PH: 6.0 - 8.0

Common uses
Common uses
Hummingbird Gardens, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Companion Plants
Companion Plants
Works with many other annual and perennial plants depending on locations within the state. Near the coast it can be used with coastal sage scrub and chaparral plants. In mountainous areas it can be used in openings of woodlands and montane chaparral. In the central valley and arid areas it can be used in open, sandy gardens with any Desert plants.

Propagation
Propagation?
For propagating by seed: No general recommendation possible as several ecotypes involved. Dry storage at 155°P for 6 mos.; then 1 mo. stratification gives 45-95% germination on seeds from five out of ten locations (Capon et al. 1978). Dry storage at 155°P for 1 wk. for desert-collected seeds gives good results (Capon and Van Asdall 1970). For specific treatments of seeds from 19 locations, see Capon and Brecht 1970. Addition of a small amount of charate over the sown seeds significantly improves germination (Keeley and Keeley 1982).

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
7*, 8*, 9*, 10*, 11, 12, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Typically arid or semi-arid places on coastal Bluffs and plains, foothills, mountains and deserts

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 2.4" - 80.9", Summer Precipitation: 0.14" - 3.69", Coldest Month: 30.5" - 61.4", Hottest Month: 57.6" - 90.2", Humidity: 0.29" - 48.21", Elevation: -253" - 8103"

Alternative Names
Botanical Names: Salvia columbariae var. columbariae
Common Names: Chia 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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