Salvia sclarea - L.
Common Name Clary, Europe sage, Clary Sage
Family Lamiaceae or Labiatae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Rocky igneous slopes, mixed deciduous and coniferous woodland, shale banks and roadsides to 2000 metres in Turkey[93].
Range Southern Europe to Syria.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Translate this page:

You can translate the content of this page by selecting a language in the select box.

Bloom Color: Blue, Lavender, Pink, White. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late spring. Form: Irregular or sprawling.

Salvia sclarea Clary, Europe sage, Clary Sage
Salvia sclarea Clary, Europe sage, Clary Sage
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Salvia sclarea is a BIENNIAL/PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.6 m (2ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower in August, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.


 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Oil.
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Oil.

Leaves - raw or cooked. A strong, warm, aromatic taste and odour[244]. They are used mainly as a flavouring in cooked foods[2, 27, 37, 105], they are similar to sage (S. officinalis)[1]. The leaves can be dipped in batter and cooked to make delicious fritters[183, 244]. Flowers - raw. A pleasant taste, they can be sprinkled on chopped salads[183, 238], or made into a tea[238]. The plant is sometimes used as a hop substitute in flavouring beer, imparting considerable bitterness and intoxicating properties[4] - it either makes people dead drunk or insanely exhilarated[244]. The leaves have also been used to adulterate wine and give it a muscatel flavour[244].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antispasmodic;  Appetizer;  Aromatherapy;  Aromatic;  Astringent;  Balsamic;  Carminative;  Ophthalmic;  
Pectoral;  Tonic.

Clary has been perceived both as a weaker version of sage (Salvia officinalis) and also as a significant herb in its own right[254]. An antispasmodic and aromatic plant, it is used mainly to treat digestive problems such as wind and indigestion[254]. It is also regarded as a tonic, calming herb that helps relieve period pain and pre-menstrual problems. Owing to its oestrogen-stimulating action, it is most effective when levels of this hormone are low[254]. The whole plant, and especially the leaves, is antispasmodic, appetizer, aromatic, astringent, balsamic, carminative, pectoral and tonic[4]. It is useful in treating disorders of the stomach and kidneys and is a valuable remedy for complaints associated with the menopause, particularly hot flushing[4, 254]. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women[238]. The leaves can be used fresh or dried, for drying they are harvested before the plant comes into flower[238]. The seed forms a thick mucilage when it is soaked for a few minutes in water. This is efficacious in removing small particles of dust from the eyes[4, 238]. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Euphoric'[210].


Other Uses
Essential;  Oil.

An essential oil is obtained from the flowering stems. Called 'Muscatel oil', it has an ambergris aroma and is used in soaps, cosmetics, as a fixative in perfumery etc[1, 46, 74, 171, 238]. A drying oil is obtained from the seed, it is used in varnishes, paints etc[74].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Border, Seashore. Requires a very well-drained light sandy soil in a sunny position[200]. Thrives on any ground that is not too wet[4]. Plants can be killed by excessive winter wet[200]. Hardy to about -20°c[187]. A biennial or short-lived perennial[187]. The flowers can be air-dried and used as everlasting flowers[200]. A very ornamental plant, it is strongly aromatic and is sometimes cultivated for its essential oil, there are some named varieties[74, 183]. When bruised, the leaves release a deliciously pungent and refreshing smell of fresh grapefruit[245]. The flowers are very attractive to bees[245]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233]. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Edible, Fragrant foliage, Not North American native, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Fragrant flowers.
Seed - can be sown in situ during spring[1]. Alternatively seed can be sown in August/September to overwinter, it will then produce larger plants Thinnings can be transplanted[1]. The seed remains viable for 3 years[1].
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Cistus salviifoliusRock Rose, Salvia cistus, Sage Leaf Rock Rose10
Salvia apianaWhite Sage, Compact white sage31
Salvia ballotaeflora 10
Salvia carduaceaThistle Sage20
Salvia carnosaPurple Sage12
Salvia clevelandiiBlue Sage, Fragrant sage, Chaparral Sage10
Salvia columbariaeChia, Ziegler's sage32
Salvia elegansPineapple Sage, Pineapple-scented Sage,10
Salvia fruticosaGreek Sage, Greek oregano23
Salvia glabrescens 10
Salvia glutinosaJupiter's Distaff, Sticky Sage10
Salvia hispanicaMexican Chia, Chia30
Salvia japonica 10
Salvia lanata 11
Salvia lanigeraWrinkle-Leaved Sage10
Salvia lavandulifoliaSpanish Sage23
Salvia lyrataCancer Weed, Lyreleaf Sage02
Salvia melliferaCalifornian Black Sage12
Salvia microphyllaBlackcurrant Sage22
Salvia moorcroftiana 11
Salvia multicaulis 10
Salvia multiorrhizaDan Shen03
Salvia officinalisSage, Kitchen sage, Small Leaf Sage, Garden Sage35
Salvia plebeia 11
Salvia pomiferaApple Sage22
Salvia pratensisMeadow Clary, Introduced sage10
Salvia reflexaMintweed, Lanceleaf sage10
Salvia stachyoides 10
Salvia sylvestrisBalkan Clary, Woodland sage10


Print Friendly and PDF
Expert comment
Botanical References
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
   Jun 18 2011 12:00AM
In south-east England I have found S. sclarea starts flowering from mid-June. Scope for confusion because painted sage S. horminum is also known as Clary Sage, but S. sclarea has much bigger leaves and of course the flowers are quite different.
QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.
2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.
3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the website on their phone.
Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Salvia sclarea  

Plant Uses

Edible Uses
Medicinal Uses
Other Plant uses
Woodland Gardening
Why Perennial Plants?
Top Edible Plants
Top Medicinal Plants
Garden Design

Twiter      Facebook


Content Help
Support Us
Old Database Search
About Us
Sign In

Stay informed about PFAFs progress,
challenges and hopes by signing up for
our free email ePost. You will receive
a range of benefits including:
* Important announcements and news
* Exclusive content not on the website
* Updates on new information &
functionality of the website & database

We will not sell or share your email address.
You can unsubscribe at anytime.