Leaves of salvia apiana
appear light grey due to a dense, even covering of short, unbranched, appressed hairs. Leaves are lined by tiny, rounded teeth, and they taper smoothly at the base to the short petiole. This species has relatively limited distribution, restricted to far southwest California, where it is abundant - between San Diego and Santa Barbara, and to 50 or 60 miles inland.
Flowers are produced in whorled, elongated clusters from the upper leaf nodes, subtended by bracts. Calyces are hairy, around 0.3 inches long, shallowly divided into two lips (one three-lobed, the other two-lobed), while the corollas, white to pale lavender, are up to 0.8 inches long, with an upper lip and a longer, upcurved, three-lobed lower lip. Two stamens and one style project some way beyond the corolla.