WILD CLARY

Salvia verbenaca

Mint / Dead-Nettle Family [Lamiaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8blue
inner
inner8white
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ2
type
typeZtieredwhorls
stem
stem8square
rarity
rarityZrare
(ssp. verbenaca)

ssp. horminoides

15th Aug 2016, Llandudno promenade, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
This specimen is branched and has stems which are more round than square, but nevertheless, the inflorescences are covered in glandular hairs.


15th Aug 2016, Llandudno promenade, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The basal leaves are dull-green (as are the rest of the leaves), and on flat stalks.


27th June, 2015, Knowsley Safari Park, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Flowers in whorls up the stem, in whorls of 5 or 6, not 4 despite the square stem.


10th June 2015, fields, South Wales. Photo: © Fred Fee
The plant is up to 80cm high, can be branched and grows in grassland often in rather bare places.


27th June, 2015, Knowsley Safari Park, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
The whorls may be rather close at first, but become more widely separated as it grows. The stem becomes thinner every time a whorl is passed because the stems seem to grow inside one another like an extending telescope.


27th June, 2015, Knowsley Safari Park, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are a deeper blue than Whorled Clary (Salvia verticillata and are not as big or showy either. There is a hooded upper lip and a lower lip with three lobes. Note the two white marks on the lower lip, which means this specimen from Knowsley is of ssp. horminoides.


27th June, 2015, Knowsley Safari Park, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Empty sepal tubes are paler, a rather steely blue/green. Sepals Plant is covered in short white glandular hairs.


27th June, 2015, Knowsley Safari Park, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Sepal tubes are ridged and have a definite upper and lower half.


10th June 2015, fields, South Wales. Photo: © Fred Fee
Stem leaves.


15th Aug 2016, Llandudno promenade, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The opened flowers are between 10 and 17mm long but the closed (Cleistogamous) flowers are smaller at 6 to 12mm.


15th Aug 2016, Llandudno promenade, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Wild Clary differs from Meadow Clary in that the longest hairs on the calyx are white and without glands at the tip (whereas they are brownish and with glands on Meadow Clary) [It is the short hairs which are glandular].


15th Aug 2016, Llandudno promenade, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Wild Clary also differs from Meadow Clary in that the flower corolla has no or very few glandular hairs (whereas there are many on Meadow Clary).


15th Aug 2016, Llandudno promenade, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Long white hairs are without glands at their tips whereas the shorter white hairs do have glands (but which are not sticky as they are in Sticky Clary. Your Author thinks the two brown elongated objects in the top petal are anthers.


15th Aug 2016, Llandudno promenade, North Wales. Photo: © RWD


27th June, 2015, Knowsley Safari Park, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
The identifying feature to distinguish Wild Clary from Whorled Clary or Meadow Clary are the stem leaves, which are rounded and somewhat irregular toothed. Leaves in pairs.


15th Aug 2016, Llandudno promenade, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Wild Clary also differs from Meadow Clary in that the lower leaves are distinctly lobed (whereas they are strongly and doubly serrate on Meadow Clary).




ssp. verbenaca


Sorry, no photos as yet


Can be mis-identified as : Meadow Clary (Salvia pratensis) but that is fairly rare [RR], has much larger and showy flowers but has similar leaves to Wild Clary; or as Whorled Clary (Salvia verticillata) which has slightly paler blue flowers than Wild Clary and pointed-teeth on lanceolate leaves. Both of those are naturalised and non-native rather than native as is Wild Clary.

Wild Clary comes as two sub-species:

  • Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca ssp. verbenaca) which has but few glandular hairs, is native and a very rare [RRR] found in Guernsey (if still there). Here we have the somewhat unusual situation where the tonic sub-species name (your Author is borrowing a word from music here) is far rarer than the other species name.
  • Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca ssp. hominoides) which has many glandular hairs and flowers with two white marks at the base of the lower lip (seldom found in ssp. verbenaca). Frequently found over the UK except for central England. This is the sub-species shown in the above photos.

Hybridises with:

  • Balkan Clary (Salvia nemerosa) to produce Hybrid Clary (Salvia × sylvestris) which is an introduced plant. This hybrid grows up to 80cm high, with ovate leaves which are cordate to truncate at their base; has showy bracts which are longer than the flowers and coloured violet, purple, blue, pink or white; and the flower corolla is between 12 to 25mm long which comes in the same showy colour range as the bracts. It grows on seaside dunes and is naturalised in Norfolk, also probably grown in gardens.


  Salvia verbenaca  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Lamiaceae  

Distribution
 family8Mint / Dead-Nettle family8Lamiaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Salvia
Salvia
(Claries)

WILD CLARY

Salvia verbenaca

Mint / Dead-Nettle Family [Lamiaceae]