Image Gallery


Description

The Allen Chickering sage has among the finest foliage and flower fragrances among our California native flora. It is a cultivar that grows with a mounding habit, 3-5 ft. tall and as wide. Foliage is comprised of deeply wrinkled gray-green leaves that are wonderfully aromatic when crushed; very colorful blue-purple flowers occur for several weeks in early spring.

This highly popular California native cultivar came from the hybridization of S. clevelandii and S. leucophylla. In early spring it provides striking flower color and foliage value in native and Mediterranean garden settings across the Inland Empire. It is a bold flowering accent plant in perimeter garden areas, on slopes and among mixed plantings; its foliage produces very noteworthy garden fragrance when touched. It does best in full sun, with good drainage and limited summer water.

Water Needs

Allen Chickering sage is naturally suited to grow in sunny locations on well drained soils and with low amounts of supplemental water during summer. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; it is desirable to have leaf litter and the top layer of soil beneath the stems to dry out between irrigation applications.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 1

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

 
0"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
1"
1"
1"
1"
1"
1"
1"
0"-2"
0"-2"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Sprawling, Mounding
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.
Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft.
Water Needs: Low 1
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Purple
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Drought, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Slopes, Hummingbird plant, Foliage accent plant, Flowering accent plant, Borders, Banks, Attracts bees, Fragrant foliage, Fragrant flowers, Attracts butterflies

Maintenance

Pinch or prune back young plants regularly in the first year to encourage long-term development of a strong bushy structure. Don't worry about sacrificing flowers the first year, you will be repaid with more flowers and a longer lived better looking plant for many years in the future. Young plants allowed to develop too many long flower stocks without this pinching back in the first couple years commonly break apart under the weight of their own flowers (S). After spring / early summer flowering, can be headed back by removing as much of the new-ish growth as desired (1). Doing so immediately after the first bloom encourages subsequent blooms, but sacrifices the development of seeds for wildlife to eat (S). Remove dead seed heads in the Fall (October), and prune as necessary (1). Consider leaving some of the pruned dry seed heads in the garden for food, nesting material, and habitat for birds and other critters you want around (S). Cut back by 1/3 to 1/2 or more of the leafy part of the branches in Fall to keep compact form, just make sure to leave at least two leafy nodes per branch as plants might not push new growth if cut below leafy nodes into old wood (3).

References

Associations

Plant Lists