9 responses to “Salvia pachyphylla”

  1. David in L A

    Madrono vol. 53 #1, pp. 11-24
    Systematics of Salvia pachyphylla (Lamiaceae)
    Robin M. Taylor and Tina J. Ayres

  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Aha, thanks David.

  3. K Drummond

    I live in the Southwest and have seen this lovely sage or one very close to it in Central California….Question: Is this salvia what is also called ‘Hummingbird Sage’ ? Lovely pic!

  4. Eric Simpson

    While not familiar with Salvia pachyphylla in particular, having spent much of my life in the sage scrub of Southern California I am quite familiar with the sweet perfume (OK, pungent odor) of Salvia. I wouldn’t begin to describe it as “disgusting” or “foul”, merely strong. The natives of the American southwest valued it for its fragrance, and many people use it in cooking (mainly for its fragrance).
    Of course, my opinion may be biased as I associate the smell with countless thousands of joyful hours spent traipsing (or even, as a child, burrowing) through the scrub, returning home with the odour in my nose and well worked into my clothes, the fragrance lingering for days. I currently have a Salvia mellifera (Black sage) in my backyard, and sometimes I go stand in middle of it just to trigger memories of those days in the scrub.

  5. Daniel Mosquin

    I believe hummingbird sage most often refers to Salvia spathacea – certainly bears a strong resemblance, doesn’t it? Note the difference in colour of the flowers themselves, though.
    Eric, I didn’t intend to paint all sages with the same brush. I love the fragrance of almost all of them – but this particular one…well, there’s an element in there that just doesn’t smell healthy. How shall I put it? Hmm… well, responsible urban dog owners would likely recognize the smell.

  6. Beverley

    Salvia pachyphylla – Z8 – RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths

  7. K Drummond

    Thank you Daniel! It’s been many years since I have seen Hummingbird Sage and now I remember it’s pom pom like flowers…Very showey. My Native American Elders taught me of several sages that are used medicinaly and for Ceremonies. Red sage is a very potent medicine. White Sage we use during Ceremonies. There is also a rare type of sagebrush that grows in a small area off highway 395 near Bishop CA that is very special and has a breathtaking sweet fragrance. Would you happen to be familiar with that and know it’s name?
    Thank you!

  8. Daniel Mosquin

    Keya, is it possibly Salvia funerea (known from areas near Death Valley)?
    Wayne Armstrong has written extensively about California sages on this page (with photographs).

  9. Robin Taylor-Davenport

    You can also find more detailed information regarding this fabulous species in my thesis:under my maiden name, Robin Taylor
    Northern Arizona University (NAU), Flagstaff, AZ
    Published work: The Phylogeny and Adaptive Radiation of Salvia pachyphylla
    (Lamiaceae) – May 2002
    I personally love the fragrance, but perhaps after working with it for so many years it grew on me.

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