A few years ago, friends of CHM's and mine who live near Etampes gave me a kind of sage plant that I had never seen before. It's called Salvia sclarea — clary sage in English, or sauge sclarée in French. It produced huge pinkish-purple flower stalks in summertime.
And it spreads by, I think, reseeding itself. Yesterday I went out to the spot where I had planted it and dug up a dozen or so small plants that were growing in the gravel that surrounds our house. Evidently, in its first season the plant produces leaves, and in its second summer it produces flowers and seeds.
Our plan is to keep these plants in the greenhouse this winter and then plant them around the well out back next spring. Salvia sclarea is called a "short-lived" perennial. I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I do know that the plant spreads fairly quickly. Actually, Wikipedia says the plant is considered invasive in North America.
I thought I had posted a photo of the Salvia sclarea flower stalk on the blog in the past, but I can't find it right now. Meanwhile, here's a photo of some of the plants we have growing in one corner of the greenhouse at this point. I picked up the potted sage plant a few minutes ago and realized its roots had grown through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot and the plant was rooted firmly in the sand and gravel floor of the greenhouse.
I finally found a photo of the Salvia in flower: it's here.ReplyDelete
I can't seem to reply so I'll comment, thanks for that photo. I don't think I've ever seen such a salvia. I see you still have squash.ReplyDelete
We had squash on the vine, but we pulled the plants out a couple of days ago. The lemon squash are basically gourds. I have to see if they are edible. That zucchini is our last one of the season.Delete
The Salvia is pretty. It looks a but like foxglove.ReplyDelete
We used to have foxglove plants in our yard but they lasted only a season or two.Delete
It's a beautiful flower !ReplyDelete
Yes it is.Delete
I wouldn't mind if that salvia invaded my yard!ReplyDelete
I'm hoping it will invade ours.Delete
I have a similar salvia, and the greenhouse described it to me as a "tender perennial". So that may be same as "short-lived" one. They overwinter in moderate climates or potted in a greenhouse, as you're doing.ReplyDelete
Mine was new this summer, and it's grown to about 4 feet tall. One morning, when I was standing near it, there was a blur of movement near me, and a hummingbird came to the plant. It hung in the air, about an arm's length from me, and we looked at each other for a bit. Then it stuck its beak into the plant's flowers, and I could hear it make little clicking noises as it drank. Am definitely going to have more of that plant next summer.
The ever-helpful Google gardener informs me that clary sage is "used to formulate the flavorings for vermouths, wines, and liqueurs with its lovely tea-like undertones."
This clary sage is a Mediterranean plant, so I'm sure it will over-winter in the greenhouse just fine. The seedlings I potted up got some rain yesterday, so they really perked up. As for hummingbirds, I wish we had them here, but they are exclusively American. We do have hummingbird (sphinx) moths, however, which are like really tiny hummingbirds. Here's post I did about them in 2009 — the same year my friends gave me the salvia plant, I saw yesterday to my great surprise. So many years ago.Delete
French Wikipedia says it is a biannual plant. If I'm not mistaken that means it survives the first year and blooms the second year and then die.Delete