Saturday, July 19, 2008

Native Plants of California ~ #6 In A Series

Salvia apiana, or white sage, is such a common plant on the coast in Southern California, it goes unnoticed by most.

Pollinated by bumblebees, wasps and the occassional hummingbird, it was considered sacred by Indian tribes. They used it widely as a food and for medicine. The seeds were ground for flour and leaves used for flavoring. A tea was made for treatment of sinuses, lungs and throat and leaves were crushed and mixed with water for shampoo. Native American tribes still bundle the stems and leaves for burning in purification ceremonies.

This California native blooms during the late spring and summer and is an evergreen perennial shrub.

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