Warning: Salvia sclarea has strong invasive tendencies. It is included here only as an aid to identification and not to promote its cultivation in any way whatsoever.
Salvia sclarea (clary sage) is a handsome biennial or short-lived perennial native to Europe and temperate and tropical Asia; however, it should not be grown outside of its native range since it has well-documented invasive tendencies. The State of Washington lists it as a Class A Weed because:
Clary sage poses a threat to forage production and plant biodiversity by displacing less competitive, more desirable species. The species has demonstrated its invasive characteristics in Idaho, where it once covered more than 1,000 acres. In addition, clary sage is a close relative of Mediterranean sage [Salvia aethiopis], a Class A noxious weed in Washington, which covers extensive areas of rangeland in Idaho, Oregon, and California. Because of its demonstrated threats and potential to invade Washington, preventing the spread of this species is desirable.
Image taken by Gary Goforth while vacationing in France.
Image © 2009 Gary Goforth. All rights reserved.