Salvia sclarea var. turkestanica
A highly architectural Salvia valued for its crinkled leaves and upright stems of showy purple blooms. The branching flower heads of Salvia sclarea var. turkestanica are wonderfully long lasting and weather hardy, even in the hottest times, as the blooms are actually made up of bracts.
Leaves are huge, hairy, wrinkly, velvety, and utterly gorgeous
Eye-catching grey-green leaves make decorative rosettes of foliage hugging the ground.
Clary Sage is certainly more than just a pretty flower show. Instead the foliage is reason enough for growing it.
But then when it billows up in that cloud of white flowers – even the leaves are overshadowed.
Growing: Salvia sclarea var. turkestanica
– Height with flowers: 75cm approx.
– Width: 60cm approx.
– Position: Full Sun, or Partial Shade as long as it is dry and airy. They don’t need sun absolutely all day, but they detest wet. Hardy in hot and dry conditions. Very suitable for coastal gardens.
– Water: Very water-wise plant. Well adapted to heat and dry.
– Soil: Good drainage is essential, but otherwise will adapt to all sorts of soils. It is particularly happy in sandy, poor, stony or gravel soils. It tolerates soil pH on both the acid and alkaline lime side
– Frost: Very frost hardy. Tolerates hard frost to well below -10C.
– Growth: Self seeding biennial.
– Fragrance: The whole plant is strongly and pleasantly aromatic. Just like wine connoisseurs, some gardeners say they detect notes of lavender, while others savour hints of bananas and pineapple.
– Attracts: Bees adore them as much as we do, and they are favourites with commercial apiarists for providing abundant, long lasting bee food. Native Honey-eating birds and butterflies join the feasting.
– Care: Cut back spent stems after flowering to encourage new branching heads. Leave some branches to self seed each year. Otherwise very easy, low maintenance. Thrives on neglect.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: Yes! They detest the high concentration of aromatic oils.
– Origin: Clary Sage is native to the Mediterranean area, especially in Syria, Italy, Southern France, as well as northern Africa. All are areas that have hot, dry summers, and cold frosty winters. This is blissful news for Australian gardeners with hot, dry conditions in summer and cold, frosty winters.