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Meadow Clary

Salvia pratensis

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Lamiaceae (Dead-nettle)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
90 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, roadsides, wasteland.

Blue, 2 petals
Violet-blue flowers appearing in terminal spikes. Flowers are 4 to 6-branched with a flower at the end of each branch. The upper lip of the flower arches forwards in the shape of a crescent. The lower lip is 3-lobed. Each flower measures 2 to 3cm across. Pollinated by insects.
The fruit is a capsule.
Rough, crumpled, oval leaves with toothed edges. Perennial, clump-forming. Sometimes encountered as a garden escape.
The foliage is aromatic.
Other Names:
Meadow Sage, Wild Sage.
Frequency (UK):

Other Information


Salvia pratensis, also known as meadow sage or meadow clary, is a perennial plant in the family Lamiaceae. It is native to Europe and Asia, and it is found in grassland and meadow habitats. The plant has blue or purple flowers that bloom from mid-summer to early autumn. It grows to be about 90 cm (3 feet) tall and prefers well-drained, moist soil. It is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens, and it is also used medicinally for its astringent and expectorant properties.


Meadow Clary (Salvia pratensis) is a beautiful and hardy herbaceous perennial plant native to Europe and western Asia. Its botanical name Salvia pratensis refers to its occurrence in meadows (pratum in Latin), which is a reflection of its ability to grow well in wet and moist environments.

The plant grows to a height of about 60-90 cm and produces spikes of blue, purple or white flowers, depending on the variety. The flowers bloom in late spring to early summer, and the plant continues to bloom until autumn. In addition to its ornamental value, Meadow Clary has also been used for medicinal purposes for centuries.

The plant is easy to grow and is best planted in the spring or autumn. It prefers moist and well-drained soil and can grow in partial shade or full sun. In order to promote continuous blooming, it is recommended to deadhead the spent blooms regularly. The plant is also very hardy and can survive cold winters and hot summers, making it an excellent choice for gardens in temperate climates.

Meadow Clary is an attractive addition to a garden, and its blue, purple, or white flowers are a beautiful sight in the garden. They are loved by pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, and provide a source of nectar for these important insects. The plant is also popular in flower arrangements and dried flowers can be used in potpourri.

Meadow Clary is a versatile and hardy herbaceous perennial that is easy to grow and maintain. With its beautiful spikes of blue, purple, or white flowers and its ability to attract pollinators, it is a great addition to any garden. Whether grown for its ornamental value, medicinal properties, or both, Meadow Clary is a plant that will surely provide you with years of enjoyment and beauty.

In addition to its ornamental and medicinal properties, Meadow Clary has also been used in traditional culinary dishes. Its leaves have a slightly bitter taste, and they can be used in salads or as a flavoring in soups and stews. The leaves of the plant contain a high concentration of antioxidants, including rosmarinic acid, which is believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.

In traditional medicine, Meadow Clary has been used to treat a wide range of conditions, including digestive problems, respiratory issues, and skin irritations. Its antiseptic properties make it a useful herb for treating wounds and infections. The plant has also been used as a natural remedy for anxiety, insomnia, and depression due to its calming effect on the central nervous system.

In modern herbal medicine, Meadow Clary is used to treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it a useful herb for treating sore throat, sinusitis, and allergies. The plant is also used to treat digestive problems, including indigestion, flatulence, and constipation.

When using Meadow Clary for medicinal purposes, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for proper guidance and dosages. Some people may experience allergic reactions when using the plant, so it is important to test a small amount of the herb before using it on a larger scale.

Meadow Clary is a versatile and beneficial herb that has been used for centuries for its ornamental, culinary, and medicinal properties. Whether grown in a garden, used in cooking, or taken as a natural remedy, Meadow Clary is a plant that offers a multitude of benefits to those who choose to incorporate it into their lives.

Another important aspect of Meadow Clary is its role in wildlife conservation and habitat restoration. The plant is a valuable food source for many species of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. It is also an important food source for many species of birds and small mammals, providing seeds and nectar.

Meadow Clary is also an excellent plant for use in wetland and meadow restoration projects. The plant is well adapted to wet soils, and its deep root system helps to prevent soil erosion and improve water quality. By planting Meadow Clary in areas that have been disturbed or damaged, we can help to restore valuable habitats for wildlife and improve the overall health of our environment.

In addition to its environmental benefits, Meadow Clary is also an excellent choice for gardeners who are concerned about using environmentally friendly products. The plant is easy to grow and maintain, and it requires very little in the way of pesticides or fertilizers. This makes it a sustainable choice for those who want to grow a beautiful garden while minimizing their impact on the environment.

In conclusion, Meadow Clary is a valuable plant that has much to offer in terms of ornamental value, culinary uses, medicinal properties, and environmental benefits. Whether grown in a garden, used in cooking, or incorporated into a wildlife habitat restoration project, Meadow Clary is a plant that offers a multitude of benefits to those who choose to incorporate it into their lives.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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