Stevens County Noxious Weed Control Board
This web site will help you identify & control noxious weed with information and photographs to aid you.

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Clary sage
Salvia sclarea L.                          
Mint family

Key identifying traits

  • Has characteristic square stem of mint family
  • Flower color range from white-pink-blue-purple
  • Flower petals divided into arching upper lip and a lower lip, also characteristic of the mint family
  • Large showy bract under each cluster of flowers
  • Erect plant with many branched flower spikes
  • Plant covered with gland tipped hairs with an unpleasant odor
  • Leaves large and mostly basal with toothed margin

Biology and ecology

  • A tap rooted biennial 20" to 6' tall
  • Sometimes grown as an ornamental and a traditional producer of essential oils used in perfumery, distilling and tobacco flavoring
  • First year growth as a fuzzy hairy basal rosette
  • Quite competitive on dry sunny sites
  • Can hybridize with Meadow clary if on same site
  • Clary sage is native to southern Europe


Prevention Learn to identify plants; know your property; beware of fill dirt, hay and seed from outside your area

Biological None- the closely related Mediterranean sage in Idaho is apparently reduced by a weevil

Cultural Good vegetative cover helps but does not totally prevent spread from adjacent disturbed areas

Mechanical Will not withstand regular tillage; pulling and digging are effective prior to seed production; cutting may be effective if repeated

Chemical Several have been effective for SCNWCB staff if a penetrating surfactant is used to get through the hairs to the leaf surface.  Depending on the site, picloram plus 2,4-D, glyphosate, clopyralid plus 2,4-D and clopyralid plus triclopyr have all been effective.  Clary sage is not listed in the PNW Weed Management handbook for specific chemical recommendations

flowering plants

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Where found
Only one rangeland site of less than one acre in Stevens County has a pure wild Clary sage infestation but another site of predominately Meadow clary shows indications of hybridization of the two.

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Last Edit: March 25, 2015

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