We found this specimen on one of the trails at Wildwood Park, Thousand Oaks.
Purple Sage is a sturdy drought resistant plant belonging to the mint family.
This succulent looking plant is actually a shrub and one variety of sage plant native to California. It's woody stem blooms blue/purple flowers. The plant is sweetly aromatic and is a lover of bees, insects, and birds who feed on it's sweet nectar.
Native Americans used this plant during ceremonies for it's hallucinogenic powers to induce visions during healing rituals, much like the shamanic traditions use another well another known variety, Saliva Divinorium. And according to Mazatec legends, they believe the plant is an incarnation of the Virgin Mary. The seeds of this herbal were also a part of the diet of the Chumash Indians.
One source states, "Botanists generally agree that salvia divinorum is low in toxicity and has a pretty low potential for addiction. It is still legal in most states, but we don't recommend you run out and try it." Seeing how Salvia Leucophylla is in the same family I am assuming the toxicity is also low.
The only difference between the two is their strains of power.