Salvia apiana Shrubland Alliance
White sage scrub

USDA Ecological Section Map

Summary Information

  • Primary Life FormShrub
  • Elevation300-1600 m
  • State RarityS3
  • Global RarityG4
  • DistributionUSA: CA. Mexico (NatureServe)
  • Endemic to CaliforniaNo
  • Endemic to California Floristic Province and DesertsNo
  • Date Added1995/11/01

Characteristic Species

Salvia apiana is dominant or co-dominant in the shrub canopy with Artemisia californica, Diplacus aurantiacus, Encelia farinosa, Ericameria spp., Eriogonum fasciculatum, Hesperoyucca whipplei, Isocoma menziesii, Malacothamnus fasciculatus, Malosma laurina and Rhus spp.

Vegetation Layers

Most shrubs < 2 m, some < 0.5 m; canopy is intermittent to continuous and two tiered. Herbaceous layer is variable.

Membership Rules

  • Salvia apiana > 50% relative cover in the shrub canopy (Evens and San 2005, Klein and Evens 2005, Dixon et al. 2019).
  • Salvia apiana and Artemisia californica occur together as the two most important shrub species in the stand (Dixon et al. 2019).


Dry slopes, benches, and rarely flooded low-gradient deposits along streams. Soils are shallow, coarse loams.

Other Habitat, Alliance and Community Groupings

MCV (1995) White sage series
NVCS (2009) Salvia apiana shrubland alliance
Calveg Sage, California sagebrush
Holland Venturan coastal sage scrub, Diegan coastal sage scrub, Riversidian upland sage scrub, Alluvial fan chaparral
Munz Coastal sage scrub
WHR Coastal scrub
CDFW CA Code 32.030.00

National Vegetation Classification Hierarchy

Formation Class Mesomorphic Shrub and Herb Vegetation (Shrubland and Grassland)
Formation Subclass Mediterranean Scrub and Grassland
Formation Mediterranean Scrub
Division California Scrub
Macro Group California Coastal Scrub
Group Central and South Coastal Californian coastal sage scrub