Salvia pratensis (Photo: *)
Salvia pratensis L.
Species:Plantarum 1:25. 1753
Salvia pratensis (Meadow Clary or Meadow Sage) is a herbaceous perennial in the family Lamiaceae, native to Europe, western Asia and northern Africa. The specific epithet pratensis refers to its tendency to grow in meadows. It also grows in scrub edges and woodland borders.
Salvia pratensis forms a basal clump from 1-1.5 m tall, with rich green rugose leaves that are slightly ruffled and toothed on the edges. The flower stalks are typically branched, with four to six flowers in each verticil. The 1 inch flowers open from the base of the inflorescence, which grows up to 12 inches long. The small calyx is dark brown. The flowers have a wide variety of color, from rich violet and violet-blue to bluish white, and from pink to pure white. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, with those on the lower part of the stem up to 15 cm long, decreasing in size higher up the stem.
At one time it was banned from California because it was thought to have naturalized in three locations. Later it was discovered that the real culprit was S. virgata. Both plants are now allowed in California. It is widely grown in horticulture, especially Salvia pratensis 'Haematodes', which is prized by flower arrangers as a cut flower. Some botanists consider S. pratensis 'Haematodes' as a separate species.
Salvia pratensis is said to be hardy from USDA Zone 3. Named cultivars include 'Atroviolacea', bearing dark blue to violet flowers; 'Baumgartenii', bearing blue to violet flowers; 'Haematodes', flower lilac-blue; 'Lupinoides', to 2 feet tall (60 cm), with white-flecked blue to purple flowers; 'Mitsommer' ("Midsummer"), flowers sky blue; 'Rosea', flowers rose-pink to purple; 'Rubicunda', flowers rose-red; 'Tenorii', to about 2 feet tall (60 cm), with blue flowers; and 'Variegata', with blue and sometimes white-tipped flowers.
1. ^ a b Clebsch, Betsy; Carol D. Barner (2003). The New Book of Salvias. Timber Press. p. 226. ISBN 9780881925609. http://books.google.com/books?id=NM0iwB8GrQYC&pg=PA226.
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License