Salvia carduacea, the thistle sage, is a herbaceous perennial shrub native to California and Baja California, found up to 1400 m elevation. It responds drastically to its environment, growing anywhere from 15 cm to 1 m in height. The wooly white basal leaves resemble a thistle's, with long spines, while the flowers grow in whorls on calyces that are wooly and spiny. The flowers are a vibrant lavender with bright orange anthers. The foliage is pungent, with a scent similar to citronella.