Fine Art

Thistle Sage (Salvia carduacea) flowers

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Lamiales

Familia: Lamiaceae
Subfamilia: Nepetoideae
Tribus: Mentheae
Subtribus: Salviinae
Genus: Salvia
Subgenus: S. subg. Sclarea
Sectio: S. sect. Echinosphace
Species: Salvia carduacea

Salvia carduacea Benth., Labiat. Gen. Spec.: 302 (1833).

Salvia gossypina Benth., Pl. Hartw.: 330 (1849).

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Northern America
Regional: Southwestern USA
Regional: Mexico
Mexico (N. Baja California).

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Bentham, G. 1832–1836. Labiatarum genera et species: or, a description of the genera and species of plants of the order Labiatae; with their general history, characters, affinities, and geographical distribution. LXVIII + 783 pp. James Ridgway and Sons, London. Gallica Biblioteca Digital Reference page. : 302

Additional references

Govaerts, R.H.A. 2003. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS: 1-216203. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [unavailable for the public] Reference page.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2022. Salvia carduacea in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2022 May 08. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2022. Salvia carduacea. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2022. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2022 May 08. Reference page. 2022. Salvia carduacea. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 08 May 2022.
International Plant Names Index. 2022. Salvia carduacea. Published online. Accessed: May 08 2022.

Vernacular names
Deutsch: Distel-Salbei
English: thistle sage !fa=

Salvia carduacea, the thistle sage,[1] is a herbaceous perennial shrub native to California and Baja California, found up to 1400 m elevation. It responds drastically to its environment, growing anywhere from 15 cm to 1 m in height. The wooly white basal leaves resemble a thistle's, with long spines, while the flowers grow in whorls on calyces that are wooly and spiny. The flowers are a vibrant lavender with bright orange anthers. The foliage is pungent, with a scent similar to citronella.[2]

USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Salvia carduacea". The PLANTS Database ( Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
Clebsch, Betsy; Barner, Carol D. (2003). The New Book of Salvias. Timber Press. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-88192-560-9.

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