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Garden Clary

Salvia sclarea

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, meadows, roadsides, walls, woodland.

White, 2 petals
The variably-coloured flowers are borne inside the leaf axils. The upper lip bends forward and is crescent shaped. The lower lip is 3-lobed. Flowers measure about 2.5cm (1 inch) across. Flowers range in colour from pale lilac to white (speckled pink) or pink. Pollinated by bees.
The fruit of Garden Clary is a capsule.
A biennial or short-lived perennial with crinkled, oblong, hairy leaves in opposite pairs up the stem. The leaves measure up to 20cm (9 inches) long. The hairy stem is 4-angled and erect. Rarely found in the wild within the UK.
Strongly aromatic.
Other Names:
Biennial Clary Sage, Clary, Clary Sage, Clear eye, Clear-eyes, European Sage, Herb Clary, See-bright.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Salvia sclarea, also known as clary sage, is a biennial or perennial plant in the family Lamiaceae. It is native to Europe and is found in grassland and meadow habitats. The plant has violet or blue flowers that bloom from mid-summer to early autumn. It grows to be about 1.5-2 meters (5-6 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, expectorant, and nervine properties. The essential oil of clary sage is used in aromatherapy and perfumery.


Garden Clary (Salvia sclarea) is an herbaceous perennial plant that is native to the Mediterranean region but is now widely grown all over the world for its beauty and numerous health benefits. With its tall spikes of fragrant, delicate flowers in shades of blue, pink, or white, this plant is a popular choice for both ornamental gardens and as an ingredient in natural remedies.

One of the most unique features of Garden Clary is its aroma. The plant produces a strong, sweet, and somewhat musky scent that is often used in perfumes and fragrances. This scent is also believed to have calming and relaxing effects on the mind and body, making it a popular ingredient in aromatherapy.

In addition to its fragrant qualities, Garden Clary is also known for its medicinal properties. The plant has been used for centuries to treat a variety of health issues, including digestive problems, menstrual cramps, and respiratory ailments. The plant is rich in compounds like camphor, eucalyptol, and tanshinones that are believed to have anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and expectorant effects.

When it comes to growing Garden Clary, the plant is relatively easy to care for and is well suited to a range of soils and growing conditions. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil, and can grow up to 2-3 feet tall. Garden Clary is also a great choice for gardeners who are looking for a low-maintenance plant that is easy to care for, as it is generally resistant to pests and diseases.

In conclusion, Garden Clary is a versatile and beautiful plant that offers a wealth of benefits to gardeners and health enthusiasts alike. Whether you are looking to add a pop of color and fragrance to your garden, or are interested in using natural remedies to improve your health, Garden Clary is an excellent choice.

Garden Clary can also be used for culinary purposes, as its leaves and flowers can be added to salads and other dishes for a subtle, yet flavorful, addition. The leaves are said to have a slightly bitter taste that is reminiscent of anise or fennel.

In traditional medicine, Garden Clary has been used as an eyewash to soothe and cleanse the eyes, as well as a natural remedy for conditions such as conjunctivitis and dry eyes. The plant's essential oil is also believed to have antifungal and antibacterial properties, making it a popular choice for use in natural skincare products.

Aside from its numerous health benefits, Garden Clary is also a popular choice for cut flower arrangements. Its tall spikes of delicate flowers look beautiful in vases and can last for several weeks when properly cared for. They make a great addition to summer wedding bouquets and floral arrangements.

In terms of propagation, Garden Clary is best grown from seed, which can be started indoors or outdoors. Alternatively, plants can be propagated through division or cuttings. Garden Clary is a fast-growing plant and will typically begin blooming in its second year.

To care for your Garden Clary plants, it is important to water them regularly and keep the soil consistently moist. During hot, dry spells, they may require additional watering. They also benefit from regular fertilization and should be pruned back in the fall to promote healthy growth in the spring.

Garden Clary is a truly versatile plant that offers a wealth of benefits to gardeners and health enthusiasts alike. With its beautiful, fragrant flowers and numerous health benefits, this plant is a must-have for anyone looking to add a touch of nature to their garden or improve their overall well-being.

Another important aspect to consider when growing Garden Clary is its hardiness. The plant is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4-9 and can tolerate cold temperatures and frost. Garden Clary is also drought-tolerant and can withstand periods of dry weather, making it an ideal choice for gardeners in regions with low rainfall.

When it comes to companion planting, Garden Clary pairs well with other herbs such as lavender, rosemary, and thyme, as well as with annuals and perennials like cosmos, sunflowers, and zinnias. The plant's attractive foliage and tall spikes of flowers make it a great choice for mixed borders, herb gardens, and wildflower meadows.

One of the best things about Garden Clary is that it is a low-maintenance plant that is easy to care for. With its strong, fibrous roots and tough stems, this plant is resistant to damage from wind and heavy rains. It also has a relatively long lifespan and can be grown for several years with proper care.

In terms of potential issues, Garden Clary is generally resistant to pests and diseases, but can be prone to rust, powdery mildew, and other fungal diseases if the foliage stays wet for extended periods of time. It is also important to note that Garden Clary is a member of the mint family and can spread rapidly, so it is important to contain it within its own area of the garden or use root barriers to prevent it from spreading.

Overall, Garden Clary is a wonderful plant to grow for its beauty, fragrance, and health benefits. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or just starting out, this plant is a great choice that is sure to bring joy and beauty to your garden for years to come.