This is a rather handsome shrubby plant, from two to five feet high, woody at base, with many stout, leafy, woolly or hairy stems, and rather coarse leaves, hairy, more or less wrinkled and toothed, and rather dark green. The flowers are over an inch long, in pairs along the upper stem, something the shape of a Monkey-flower, with a five-toothed calyx and a corolla with four, short, spreading lobes and the fifth lobe much longer and erect, the tube broad and dull-white, with a hairy ring at the base inside, the lobes tinged with pink or purple; the stamens four, one pair shorter. After the flowers have faded the large, pale green, inflated calyxes, veined with dull purple, become conspicuous. If the flowers were brighter in color this would be very handsome. It is strongly but rather pleasantly aromatic and grows on dry hills in southern California. The name is from the Greek, meaning "sage," as these plants have sage-like foliage and smell, but the flowers are quite different.
There are several kinds of Salvia, widely distributed, herbs or shrubs; flowers usually in whorls, with bracts; upper lip of the corolla erect, seldom two-lobed, lower lip spreading and three-lobed; resembling Ramona, except that the two stamens have filaments which are apparently two-forked, one fork bearing an anther cell and the other only the mere rudiment cf an anther; the smooth nutlets are mucilaginous when wet. The Latin name means "to save," as some kinds are medicinal.
Pitcher Sage- Sphacele calycina. MINT FAMILY. Labiatae.