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Smart Water Use

Summer Strong

Summer Strong plants are not only beautiful but tough enough to handle the hottest days. PCWA is pleased to partner with the UC Master Gardeners of Placer County to highlight six Summer Strong flowers, shrubs and trees that are water-wise, well-suited to Placer County's environment and available at local nurseries.

Fire-wise plants are also Summer Strong. You can learn more about Fire-Wise landscaping, including a list of plants used in the Maidu Fire Station Makeover in Auburn on our Fire-Wise, Water-Wise Landscaping page.

Featured Plant of the Month

Hello Hummingbirds!

Cleveland Sage (and other Salvias)

'Winnifred Gilman' Cleveland Sage, Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman'
'Winnifred Gilman' Cleveland Sage, Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman'
'Winnifred Gilman' Cleveland Sage, Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman'

'Winnifred Gilman' Cleveland Sage

Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman'
By Laurie Meyerpeter, Master Gardener

Along with gorgeous flowers, the leaves of 'Winnifred Gilman' and other Cleveland sage cultivars are highly aromatic. When the Placer County Master Gardeners teach a propagation class at Del Oro High School, this plant is a huge favorite of the teens because of its beautiful aroma and the unique flowers.

'Winnifred Gilman' is one cultivar of Cleveland sage but local nurseries may stock similar and interchangeable Cleveland sage cultivars such as 'Allen Chickering'. And the terms "salvia" and “sage” are both used interchangeably to describe this very large family of plants. Many of them are California natives. Salvias are beloved by hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.

Bloom: 'Winnifred Gilman' blooms in late spring into early summer, with a light bloom later in the summer. The distinctive whorled flowers are shades of blue and violet. When not in bloom, the plant forms a mound of gray-green leaves that are very aromatic on warm summer days.

Water needs: Low to Very Low once established.

Sun: Full sun, part shade.

Size: 'Winnifred Gilman' Cleveland sage grows 3-4' x 3-4' mounded shrub if unpruned. Other cultivars may be slightly larger and wider if unpruned.

Care: Low water requirements. Lightly prune in late fall to maintain compact form.

Availability: Cleveland sage is seasonally available. Local nurseries typically stock either 'Winnifred Gilman' Cleveland Sage or 'Allan Chickering' Cleveland Sage throughout the spring and summer months.

Bonus plants: Many other salvias or sages are Summer Strong plants with low water requirements and good summer looks. Besides 'Winnifred Gilman', 'Allen Chickering', and other Cleveland sages and cultivars, check out these readily available salvias: 'Bee's Bliss' Sage (Salvia 'Bees Bliss'), White Sage (Salvia apiana), and Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spathacea). A fantastic and popular family of plants! Available seasonally at local nurseries.



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