Stamens projecting upwards; styles forked at purplish tip project laterally. Fullerton Arboretum, Fullerton, CA. 5-02-09. © Joan Avise

White Sage

Salvia apiana

Salvia flowers have modified stamens with two arms carrying pollen sacs at the ends.  The sac on the arm that projects from the flower is fertile, while the shorter arm inside the flower is not, but acts as a trigger to force pollen from the upper arm onto insects crawling in the floral tube.

White Sage was used by Native Americans in their religious ceremonies. 

Lamiaceae

Back to Lamiaceae of Orange County, California
Back to Eudicots of Orange County, California
Back to Natural History of Orange County, California


Grayish foliage, opposite leaves with scalloped edges. Crystal Cove State Park, Laguna Beach, CA. 5-13-07. © Joan Avise

Fullerton Arboretum, Fullerton, CA. 5-02-09. © Joan Avise

Flower spike. San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, Irvine, CA. 5-28-07. © Joan Avise

Forked purplish tip of styles Fullerton Arboretum, Fullerton, CA. 5-02-09. © Joan Avise

Laguna Canyon, Laguna Beach, Orange County, CA. 10-16-11. © Peter J. Bryant

Laguna Canyon, Laguna Beach, Orange County, CA. 10-16-11. © Peter J. Bryant

Two well exserted stamens. Fullerton Arboretum, Fullerton, CA. 5-02-09. © Joan Avise

Very long floral spikes. Fullerton Arboretum, Fullerton, CA. 5-02-09. © Joan Avise

Tallest of local Salvias, up to 6' with flower spikes, in bloom. Limestone Canyon Reserve, Orange Co., CA. 6-4-11. © Joan Avise

Emerging flower stalks, die after bloom; note old dried stalks from previous year. 4-25-09. © Joan Avise

Emerging flower stalks. Santiago Truck Trail, Santa Ana Mountains, Orange Co., CA. 4-25-09. © Joan Avise

Salvia apiana x mellifera, Plant 2, Serrano Creek, vic. Whiting Ranch, 11-20-14. © Ron Vanderhoff.

Salvia apiana x mellifera, plant 1, Serrano Creek, vic. Whiting Ranch, 11-20-14. © Ron Vanderhoff.

Salvia apiana x mellifera, plant 1, Serrano Creek, vic. Whiting Ranch, 11-20-14. © Ron Vanderhoff.

Salvia apiana x mellifera, plant 5, Serrano Creek, vic. Whiting Ranch, 11-20-14. © Ron Vanderhoff.
Associated Insects
Sage Leaf Gall Midge,
Rhopalomyia audibertiae

Parasitoid PBTor10