Lepechinia calycina

Pitcher sage

Plant Type: Shrub
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Medium, Well-draining
Water: Naturalize, Occasional
Height X Width: 6' X 6'
Santa Clara County Local: Yes
What do these mean?



Pitcher sage is found in California’s coastal mountains from the Bay Area to Ventura County, and the lower foothills of the central Sierras. It grows in an open, fountain form with large lance-shaped leaves. The large tubular flowers are usually white, but may also have a tint of lavender. If allowed to naturalize (no supplemental irrigation) during the summer months, the large leaves will transition from yellow to orange and smaller leaves will appear. The combination of green, yellow and orange is quite attractive, though it does take some getting used to if one is accustomed to year-round lush green. The pitcher sage requires soil of at least medium drainage and several hours of sun. It can be short lived if watered regularly. Two plants in my garden have thrived for about a decade in a naturalized bed, however. Coppicing an established plant at the beginning of winter will stimulate fresh, dense growth.


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: Yes
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen