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Report an Invasive Species

Clary sage

Clary sage

Clary sage

(Salvia sclarea)

Priority: -  Prevent

Tags: Terrestrial | Medicinal | Edible

Identification and Reproduction

Identification: 

  • Clary sage is a biennial plant that is currently growth for essential oils.
  • Stems are square and grow up to 1.2 m tall.  Can grow upright or sprawl laterally. 

  • Leaves have a wrinkled appearance and covered in hairs. They are larger at the base, reaching 30 cm long. 
  • Flowers are found in whorls of 2-6 flowers and collectively make a spike on the terminal end of stems. Flowers are bilabiate with colourful bracts, ranging from lilac, white or pink in colour. 

Reproduction: 

  • Reproduces by seed. 

Habitat & Ecology

  • Clary sage thrives in fully exposed sites. 
  • It does well in medium moisture and well-drained, sandy or gravelly soils. 
  • Intolerant of high humidity and temperatures. 
  • Is tolerant of drought. 
  • It an become unmanageable on open range lands or pastures. 
  • Has yet to be observed in BC but is present Washington. 

Impacts

Ecological:

  • They displace native plant species. 
  • Reduce wildlife foraging and habitat. 
  • Under the right conditions will escape cultivation and take over exposed sites. 

Management

Prevention is a high priority for this species. 

  • Maintain good ground cover to slow the spread and prevent invasive establishment. 
  • Do not purchase, plant or distribute clary sage. 
  • Learn to identify clary sage. 
  • Report this plant if you think you have seen it. 

Resources

For more details on identification and historic uses of clary sage, check out the Plants For A Future datasheet on salvia sclarea here

Header photo (Udo Schröter).