Also known as Meadow Clary, this hardy herb is found in meadows (of course!), woodland edges and scrubland in parts of Europe, western Asia and North Africa, and will flourish in any dry sunny spot and on boney ground. It has strongly aromatic leaves which can be used as a sage substitute for flavouring in cooked foods and tea, beers and wine. As with clary sage (Salvia sclarea), the name ‘clary’ is derived from ‘clear-eye’ and the plant seeds were formerly used as a paste to remove particles from the eyes and to reduce inflammation. It can also be used like common sage as an anti-inflammatory, as a gargle for sore throats, and to clean teeth. In summer spikes of beautiful bright violet blue flowers rise on spikes, attracting bees by the dozen. Ht 50 – 80cm, spread up to 50cm. 9cm pot, certified organic plant.
Main photo: flickr.com, gallery: wikimedia.commons.org