Eriodictyon californicum

Yerba Santa

Plant Type: Shrub
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Medium, Well-draining
Water: Naturalize, Occasional
Height X Width: 8' X 4'
Santa Clara County Local: Yes
What do these mean?



Yerba santa is a common shrub in many, usually mountainous, settings from San Luis Obispo County north. It grows in a vase shape to an impressive height with an open structure. The leaves are large, dark green and somewhat wrinkled. The flowers are lavender and attract a variety of pollinators. In the wild, the leaves often are covered with a sooty fungus. This is defacing but does not seem to harm the plant. Seed grown plants so far have not shown signs of this fungus in the nursery. Yerba santa has proven an impressive garden performer, growing quickly – even luxuriously – in partial shade with no supplemental water. Yerba santa means ‘holy herb’, referring to its wide use in both native American and Spanish herbal medicine.


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen