Black Sage


Black Sage (Salvia mellifera) is an aromatic perennial shrub native to California and is common throughout San Diego County and northern Baja California, Mexico. It grows mostly in the coastal sage scrub and lower chaparral plant communities. Flowers appear white to lavender in color. The plant is shallow-rooted and grows in various types of soil.

Native Americans in California had many uses for Black Sage. Leaves, stalks, and seeds were eaten and brews were made for treatment of coughs, sore throats, and arthritis pain.

Black Sage is used in native landscape and gardening as it is good for erosion control. It grows and spreads quickly, and thanks to its resistance to drought is used in revegetation projects throughout San Diego County.

To see more photographs of Black Sage, please visit the San Diego Natural History Museum’s Flora of Baja California database.

PHOTO CREDIT: Curtis Clark