Plant of the Month, May 2019: Purple Sage

Purple Sage

Salvia leucophylla

Purple sage, salvia leucophylla, is in full bloom here at the Audubon Center at Debs Park. This plant is in the mint family of Lamiaceae, yes the same family as spearmint. It is an aromatic plant, we encourage you to rub the leaves and smell. That smell attracts insects, specifically beetles. Why? For the role of pollination of course. This is one of California’s native plants, and you can tell right away! The lightness of the plant, or silvery undertone, allows them to remain cool during California hot days since it absorbs less heat, but there is something cooler. These leaves’ silvery undertones are also composed of crenulated leaves, where the leaves are fuzzy and feel like felt. Our favorite part of this plant however, is definitely there beautiful flowering stalks that are composed of little small flowers, making it a perfect natural food source for our hummingbirds in the park. 

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