This erect plant provides welcome punctuation throughout the Scented Garden.
A native of southern Europe, the short-lived perennial or biennial clary sage (Salvia sclarea) thrives in full sun in poor, well-drained soils. It is an erect species which can reach 1m in height, and has hairy, wrinkled foliage, which when brushed releases a pungent scent, which earns it the common name ‘sweaty Betty’. Racemes of pale pink flowers have contrasting mauve-white bracts. Long-used for medicinal purposes, today this species is cultivated for it’s essential oils, which are distilled and used in the flavouring of drinks, perfumery and aromatherapy.