Botanical Name: Salvia Apiana Plant Family: Lamiaceae Origins: United States
A flowering perennial, white sage is native to the Southwestern United States; preferring to grow on sunny, arid slopes. It has erect woody stems and small white flowers and exists only in a relatively small range in southern California. White sage leaves are popularly rolled into large bundles (smudge sticks) and burned as an “incense” to purify physical spaces. White sage is also a distinctive and stimulating way to cleanse a room of unpleasant odors. Its popularity, however, has led to the overharvesting of the plant. Many leading herbalists have suggested that devotees consider growing their own.