California Pitcher Sage (Hummingbird Sage) (Salvia spathacea)
Hardiness: to 10° F (zone 8)
Extremely rare! Consider royalty among all the sages - There are none that are more desirable in the garden. A hummingbird favorite!
Evergreen, clumping perennial flowering to 3 feet. Native to the California Central Valley and Southern California. Easily one of the most sought-after sages worldwide, the plant is pineapple aromatic and covered with oil glands. The very robust flowering cola can be as thick as your wrist. The flowers occur in thick whorls - elongated, magenta, and highly attractive to hummingbirds.
Plant prefers sun to part shade and moderate water.
The plant thrives in the dry shade of oaks or pines. Seeds 3-5 times larger than most sage species (e.g. S. officinalis, S. apiana) and very rarely seen available for purchase.
Observation Notes on Germination: Unscarified seed came up in 14 days and ongoing at 65 degrees F. Volcanic germinator with fat cotyledons and leaves are purple variegated.