White sage. A shrubby, coarsely branched shrub to 6’ tall and 5’ wide, on a hot day its scent is often evident long before the plant comes into view. Upright, pale pink flowering stalks bearing white or lavender flowers rise above the aromatic silver-white foliage. Native Americans used the resinous leaves (either dried or fresh) for ceremonial purposes, early pioneers made a tea from them to relieve colds or congestion, and one source says they may even be used as a soapless shampoo. Beekeepers too find this plant useful, and often keep their hives in chaparral areas where white sage is found because of the strong attraction for bees. Best used in full sun with good air circulation, white sage is drought tolerant once established though completely deciduous without moderate supplemental water. Tolerant of most soil types when given adequate drainage, it is useful as a background accent with other native shrubs such as Ceanothus. Prune back flowering stalks to encourage compactness. Plants are particularly beautiful in the moonlight after a winter rain. Hardy to 10F. Santa Barbara County to Baja California.