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Salvia mellifera

Español: Salvia negra

Plant Description

Category: Shrub

Origin: Coastal sage scrub and lower chaparral plant communities along the California coast.

Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Pale blue or a
pale rose color

Bloomtime: March - July

Height: 3-6 feet

Exposure: Full Sun

Drought Tolerant: Yes

Irrigation: Water Needs

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The Chumash people use Black Sage as a strong sun tea made from the leaves and stems of the plant, this is rubbed on a painful area or used to soak one's feet, the plant contains pain relievers. The Black Sage also produces a nectar that Black Sage honey is made from. This honey is typically peppery and strong, and is prized as a rare honey due to the plant's dry climate. 

Black Sage honey can only be made when specific rain conditions are met and the plant produces enough nectar. It is covered with simple hairs with some glandular hairs, which makes it highly aromatic. It gives off a minty odor when crushed. Black sage is so named because of the dark whorls of dried flowers that remain on the stems at the end of the season. Salvia comes from the Latin salveo, “to save” which refers to the medicinal uses of many salvias. In the case of Black Sage, components in the plant’s oils kill certain harmful bacteria.

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For Additional Information About this Plant

Key to Native Plant Symbols 

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