Salvia Apiana Plant


Dry and hot coastal areas are not hospitable to a lot of plants, but the salvia apiana thrives in these locations. The salvia apiana has a long history as a folk medicine for many Native American tribes found near the West coast. The salvia apiana also has an unusual ability to prevent other wildflowers from growing thanks to chemicals found in its fallen leaves.


Salvia apiana is a shrub that is found in the mint family. Also called the bee sage, this plant is a heavy attractor of bees. The flowers on the salvia apiana are compact, branching and have determinant and indeterminant axes. They have a pale lavender color. The leaves are gray-white and have a strong smell. The flowers have dense clusters with a bilateral symmetry that shifts either to the left or to the right. The body can become 2 to 3 feet tall.


Dried leaves are used as cooking herbs in the United States. Salvia apiana is sometimes stuffed in turkey. Salvia apiana is specifically used as an incense, due to its strong scent. The salvia apiana is also used as an ornamental plant. The seeds have been used medicinally to cure colds. Salvia apiana can also be made into a tea. Many Native American tribes have used salvia apiana in ceremonies and folk medicine. Salvia apiana can be used to restore desolate ecosystems.


Salvia apiana is native to California. The plant inhibits the growth of wildflowers because its fallen leaves contain chemicals that cause allelopathy in the seeds. When fires burn salvia apiana, new wildflowers often spring up because dormant seeds are able to germinate. The salvia apiana prefers soil that is dry and does not survive well in moist, cold conditions. High humidity can make this plant impossible to grow. The salvia apiana needs full sun in order to survive, but the plant is very good at conserving water.

Time Frame

Salvia apiana plants are grown from seeds, though they can also be propagated through cuttings. Seeds take two to three weeks to germinate. The salvia apiana is a slow-growing plant that takes three years to fully grow. The flowers bloom between April and June.


The stem of the salvia apiana is very brittle and breaks easily. The salvia apiana is mostly resistant to pests, but at younger stages it can be killed by excessive aphid infestations. Aphids can be killed by pesticides and they are also commonly hunted by ladybugs.

Keywords: salvia apiana, white sage, bee sage, folk medicine, coastal areas

About this Author

Charles Pearson has written as a freelancer for two years. He has a B.S. in Literature from Purdue University Calumet and is currently working on his M.A. He has written three ebooks so far: Karate You Can Teach Your Kids, Macadamia Growing Handout and The Raw Food Diet.