Friday 10 June 2011

A plea









They arrived last year as tiny plugs
from my veg box provider 
and did nothing.
Now suddenly it is about 2' high with
soft thick leaves and
 spurs of delicate mauve bracts.


  1. Hello Lucille:
    Salvia sclarea var. turkestanica .... a hardy biennial or short lived perennial but will seed gently about. It usually thrives in a sunny spot.

    We grew it very successfully in our Herefordshire garden. We hope that this is of some help to you.

  2. Thank you very much - I was hoping you would help me out! I'm glad it seeds. Can I collect seed? It's not in a very sunny spot at present in the shade of a Victoria plum and an old apple tree.

  3. It's pretty, and I'm very happy someone else came through with the name.

  4. Hello Lucille:
    Our most recent post gave a brief introduction to our Herefordsire garden which is, as we said there, a subject, and one upon which our twelve or so gardening books were based, to which we shall from time to time return. If you care to follow, then you will not miss out.

    The Salvia would be better in a more open position. Our advice would be to allow it to seed in situ, rather than take seed, and then transplant new plantlets to where you wish to grow them. We hope that this answers the question but do not hesitate to ask if still unsure. You will find that it is a really pretty flower but has a rather off-putting scent.

  5. I got as far as salvia, and was pleased to find that someone knew the full name. Very pretty plant, too.

  6. Here is some information regarding it -
    Native throughout Southern Europe & South-West & Central Asia. This species is a hardy biennial or perennial. The large, broadly ovate, coarsely hairy leaves have notched to irregularly erose margins. They form a basal rosette in the first year, then later a clump to 60cm across. In the second year, the large, branched, pyramidal, inflorescences are formed on 120 cm high coarsely hairy, stout stems from June to October. The flowers in whorls of 2-6 have a hooded, lilac/blue upper lip with a white lower lip surrounded by persistent and conspicuous, pinkish lilac, papery bracts which makes the plant so attractive. It is a very variable species which has given rise to the superior named form S. sclarea var. turkestanica. Propagation is usually by seed. The parent plant does not always die after flowering, but if it does there are usually seedlings around the plant to replace it. Hardy to 10 0C.

    The oil is known commercially as Clary oil or Muscatel sage and is mainly used a fixer in the perfume industry. An infusion of the leaves is used for stomach and kidney disorders. In Jamaica a mixture of the leaves boiled in coconut oil was used to cure scorpion stings. A wine is made by boiling the leaves and flowers of S. sclarea with sugar. Cold extract of clary will help draw out thorns and splinters and reduce inflammation. It helps relieve anxiety states, including those involving fear, paranoi and delusions.

    Newcastle University

    It's a pretty thing, isn't it. I suspect that you will be able to take the seeds and sow them in a sunnier spot.

  7. I was going to say clary sage, which is the common name. I have it, too!

  8. Hi,

    I couldn't have helped with the plant name, but wanted to say, just how perfect the flower is in the first photo.


  9. Thank you all so much. How interesting. I did know the name clary sage, but didn't realise it was this plant. I need some clary oil for a persistent thorn in my finger. I will go and smell it if it stops raining tomorrow. I'm delighted to have my very own gardeners' question time panel in residence here.