Blue, Purple, Lavender

blue sage
BLUE SAGE - Salvia dorrii,  Lamiaceae/mint family.  Blue flowers growing from purple bracts, and  gray/green leaves make this sage  attractive at any time.  Native Americans used the leaves to treat headaches and  stomach aches.  Blooms generally appear around July and continue for 6 - 8 weeks.
CANTERBURY BELL, DESERT - Native to Arizona and California deserts, also found along coasts and inland areas, it is an annual herb with erect stems reaching a maximum height of 2.3 ft.  It is covered in glandular hairs, and the leaf blades are somewhat rounded with toothed edges.  A very hardy plant, withstanding down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit, it is a desert wildflower that also thrives in gardens and is a favorite of many.  Its brilliant blue flowers are stunning and appear around March through May.
CHIA - Salvia columbariae, labiatae/mint family. This unbranched annual grows 6 to l8 inches high.  Like most members of the Mint (Labiatae) Family, Chia has square stems.  Blooms March to June.  For centuries Chia was of great economic importance to Native Americans of the Southwest and California coast.  The parched seeds of the Chia were ground to make the staple flour, pinole.  Indians also placed the seeds in water to make mucilaginous poultices and beverages.  One tablespoon of chia seeds mixed in water was reputed to be sufficient nutrition to sustain for 24 hours, an Indian on a forced march.  This cooling drink was also famous for assuaging a desperate thirst. An infusion of the seeds was valued by Spanish Missionaries as a fever remedy and  as a poultice for gunshot wounds.  Chia is sold in natural food stores for its tender sprouts, which are delicious in salads.
LUPINE, GRAPE SODA - A species of lupine, the name referring to its sweet scent which is reminiscent of grape soda.  Flowers appear April through June.  Variants of this species are found in the southwestern U.S., especially in California and Nevada deserts, as well as in far northwestern Mexico.  It is a small shrub with gray-green foliage and fan-shaped leaves each made up of 7 to 10 narrow leaflets.  Rich purple flowers, each with a bright yellow spot, cluster on a tall stalk.  Occasional variants have white flowers.  

paper bag bush
PAPER BAG BUSH - Salazaria mexicana, Lamiaceae/Mint family.  This is also called “Bladder Sage".  When the purple and cream-colored flowers are pollinated, the calyx swells and dries like a tiny paper bag.  Seeds are dispersed when the “paper bags” blow away.  This plant blossoms about March to June.
turpentine broom plant
TURPENTINE BROOM - Thamnosma  montana, Rutaceae/Rue family. This is one of the earliest plants to flower, usually from March to May.  The strong odor of this plant is what attracts the female Swallowtail butterflies to lay their eggs on the foliage, as the caterpillars eat only Turpentine Broom.  For some people, touching this plant can cause a skin rash.