California White Sage

Salvia apiana Lamiaceae

Other names

Bee Sage

Growth habit



Cultivated as annual

Native distribution


Biocultural value

Fragrant dried leaves of this California native sage are burned to purify the air during ceremonies as well as after illness. This California sage has intensely fragrant foliage that mellows when dried and can be burned as incense.


Robison Herb Garden

Source of plant



Perennial shrub, to 3m. Stems woody at base, tomentose. Leaves to 10cm, petiolate, simple, ovate or elliptic to oblong, margin subentire to notched, silver-tomentose; petioles tomentose. Verticillasters in erect, much-branched, thyrsoid panicles to 1.5m; calyx to 8mm, apex of teeth acute or obtuse; corolla white, flecked lavender, tube to 7mm, upper lip to 2mm, or more or less obsolete, lower lip falcate, middle lobe laciniate. Fruits to 3mm.

USDA Hardiness Zone


Special characteristics

tender perennial, other ethnobotanical uses, fragrance