Salvia Species, Clary Sage, Muscatel Sage

Salvia sclarea

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: sclarea (SKLAR-ee-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Salvia altilabrosa
Synonym:Salvia calostachya
Synonym:Salvia coarctata
Synonym:Salvia foetida
» View all varieties of Salvias




24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama

Auburn, Alabama

Frisco City, Alabama

Flagstaff, Arizona

Hesperia, California

Merced, California

Petaluma, California

Richmond, California

Soquel, California

Temecula, California

Denver, Colorado

Longmont, Colorado

Boise, Idaho

Jeffersonville, Indiana

Abilene, Kansas

Lowell, Michigan

Plainfield, New Jersey

Albuquerque, New Mexico

High Rolls Mountain Park, New Mexico

Rodeo, New Mexico

Buffalo, New York

Forest Hills, New York

Wallkill, New York

Charlotte, North Carolina

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Alexandria, Virginia

Twin Lakes, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 25, 2012, Cocoa1904 from Abilene, KS wrote:

This is a tough plant that flourished with little care. The foliage is attractive, as are the flowers for an informal planting. On a hot, sunny day the scent is overwhelming--and not in a good way! I do not recommend planting near the house as I did.


On Jun 13, 2010, kobwebz from columbia, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant got to 4 feet in part sun, love it.


On Nov 25, 2008, CurtisJones from Broomfield, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

From your friends at Botanical Interests: This spectacular biennial produces foliage the first year and flowers the second. The fountains of 3 tall dramatic flower stems with pale lilac 1" long tubular flowers and very prominent rose-red bracts appear in mid-summer and last through early fall. This beautiful plant has a unique balsam-like fragrance and has many herbal uses. The leaves can be used like regular sage in cooking or to make sachets and potpourri. Plants require well-drained soil. Do not over fertilize; too much fertilizer results in more leaves and fewer flowers. (We cannot ship this variety to Washington as per state regulations. Please do not order from us if your shipping address is in this state.)


On Oct 25, 2007, susybell from Vancouver, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant is a class A quarantined noxious weed plant in the state of WA. Quote from website:

* It is illegal to transport, buy, sell, or trade any quarantined species.
* It is also illegal to distribute seed packets, flower seed blends, or 'wildflower mixes' of those plants.
* Persons violating the quarantine restrictions are subject to a civil penalty of up to $5,000 per violation.


On Jul 10, 2006, Corgi_Lily from Lowell, MI wrote:

This biennial can get very large. I have had one plant grow over 4' tall and 3' around in good garden conditions. When it is crowded or very dry it will stay smaller. Once it is done flowering it will die pretty quickly and can leave a large open spot in the garden. It reseeds pretty heavily if not deadheaded, but the finches like the seeds so I leave it. Best of all, my hummingbirds love this plant. It is a very substantial and structural plant; great for a place you are not sure if you need a shrub; it will be gone in two years anyway, so you can test out how big a plant you need with clary sage.


On Jan 6, 2004, kendraloo wrote:

What beautiful pictures! I am trying to find a clary sage plant to be used in a photo shoot at the end of January. It can be potted or cut, but needs to be flowering. Would anyone have any leads? Thank you very much!


On Aug 12, 2002, golddog from Western, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I like the reseeding ability even though it will shatter up to 20'. Very similiar to Salvia argentea but for the green leaves not silver.


On Jul 1, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is a very beautiful flowering plant. The flower colors change depending on the lighting conditions, from white through cream, ivory, pink and purple, but it needs to be planted very far from smelling range. In the hot sunlight, the leaves emit overpowering stench at least 10 feet away. If not deadheaded, self-seeds abundantly. Plants do not transplant well, so seed should be planted where desired, rather than allowing it to self-seed.


On Feb 3, 2002, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Clary sage is an erect, hairy,branched biennial or perennial herb with large,aromatic,light green,ovate leaves about 9 inches long.The flowers are whorls of bicolored cream and lilac, to pink or blue, 1-1/4 inch long, with conspicuous lilac bracts that bloom in spring and summer. Can get up to 3 feet high and up to 2 feet wide.