White Sage (Salvia apiana; or Bee Sage) is a perennial shrub native to the Southern West Coast of the United States. While it is commonly used for smudging/incense (its leaves have a distinct aroma when burned), the indigenous tribes of the region have developed multiple uses for it as both a food and medicine.
Silvery grey foliage when mature (baby seedlings are green).
Perennial West Coast native.
Frost hardy to climate zones 8b and above.
Plants can reach over six feet tall.
Seeds are ethically produced and not wildcrafted.
Large mammals such as deer, antelope, elk, mountain sheep, and rabbits will eat the young foliage, and the small white to pale lavender flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other insects. Small mammals such as squirrels and rabbits, and birds such as sparrows, grouse, and quail will eat mature seeds.
White Sage can reach between 3-4 feet tall, but when in flower, plant stalks can reach well over eight feet. It may take multiple years for plants to reach this height, but soil type and climate helps the plant reach its ideal. White Sage is also drought tolerant. In fact, over-watering can kill plants.
While White Sage is not an endangered plant, wild populations are prone to over-harvesting. Our white sage seed comes from our own farm and is NOT wildcrafted. We’ve grown our own seed lines for more than a decade, and this has resulted in improved germination rates of the plant versus wildcrafted seed. However, because sage is genetically undomesticated, seeds will display a fair amount of dormancy – they may not sprout evenly or all at once.
White Sage will product harvestable foliage 120 days from seeding under ideal conditions. Plants are perennial and hardy to zones 9 and above and can be grown as an annual or over-wintered indoors in colder climates.