White Sage
Salvia apiana

Also known as Sacred sage, is an evergreen perennial shrub of the genus Salvia, the sages. It is native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, being found mainly in California on the western edges of the Mojave and Sonoran deserts.

Stems and leaves are usually white from the presence of fine hairs. The leaves start out crinkly grey-green and become smooth and white. These plants typically reach 6 ft. in height. They are shrubby below, with the current year's growth being long, erect branches on which flowers appear at the tips. Flowers are white with a little lavender and bloom from late spring to midsummer.

White sage likes dry slopes, full sun, and no extra water. It is not specific to any one soil, growing in sandy loam, granitic scree, and red loamy clay. They grow on dry benches and slopes below 1500 metres.

Bumblebees, hawk moths and wasps pollinate the White sage, and hummingbirds also appear to like the plant.

Native Americans had several uses for this plant: seeds were ground into a flour and used for mush; leaves were used for flavoring in cooking; leaves were also eaten, smoked or used in a sweathouse as a remedy for colds; seeds were dropped into the eye and permitted to roll around under the eyelids in order to cleanse the eyes; and leaves were crushed and mixed with water to create a hair shampoo, dye and straightener.

White sage is considered sacred by many Native Americans, being used to make smudge, or smudge wands, a type of incense. It is believed to cleanse a space of any evil spirits that may be present. This power is said to be released from the plant by the burning of the leaves, which are typically bundled into a wand or stick. White sage was used in a similar fashion by the Celts.