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Where to Pick Wild White Sage

The white sage plant (Salvia apiana Jeps.) is native to California. It grows wild and may be picked in certain areas of the Golden State.


A member of the mint family Lamiaceae and the genus Salvia L., white sage is a perennial woody shrub. The USDA indicates that, as of October, 2010, the herb is discovered growing wild exclusively in eight counties located in the southern areas of California, with no distribution in the central or northern portion of the state.


White sage stands out amidst the California landscape as a soft-stemmed, fragrant low-growing shrub with a collection of white-lavender flowers. It grows in two-feet high mounds with silvery foliage and five-feet tall flowering stalks.

  • The white sage plant (Salvia apiana Jeps.)
  • It grows wild and may be picked in certain areas of the Golden State.


The backcountry of Riverside and San Diego Counties, as well as San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and Orange Counties, are ideal locations to pick wild white sage. The plant can also be found in Baja California.

White Sage & Regular Sage?

Although closely related, white sage (salvia apiana) and common garden sage (salvia officinalis) are different in both appearance and use. White sage flowers are mostly white with hints of lavender, while garden sage flowers are usually purple or bluish-purple (although they can sometimes also be lavender or white). There are over 800 known varieties of salvia (sage).

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