Meadow Clary

Salvia pratensis

Meadow Clary

Family: Lamiaceae

Other Common Names: meadow sage
Weed class: A
Year Listed: 1998
Native to: Europe
Is this Weed Toxic?:

not known to be


Legal listings:

WA Quarantine list, WAC 16-750

Why Is It a Noxious Weed?

It invades rangeland and poses a threat to forage production and plant diversity by displacing less competitive, more desirable species. It is a close relative of Mediterranean sage (Salvia aethiopis) which is also a Class A noxious weed in Washington.

How would I identify it?

General Description

It is a fibrous-rooted perennial, ranging from 1 to 2 feet tall. Leaves are mostly basal with a long stem. The plant is aromatic and covered with small hairs, with the upper plant parts being glandular.

Flower Description

Flowers are irregularly spaced along the stem at 4 to 8 per node, in a whorl. They are violet-blue but can also range from rose to dark violet in cultivated varieties. Small bracts occur just under each whorl of flowers.

Leaf description

Leaves are opposite, egg shaped to oblong, and may also be heart shaped with a notch at the base and wrinkled. They are 3 to 6 inches long. Margins can be irregularly toothed or rounded.

Stem description

Stems are 4 to 8 inches long and have very few leaves. Most leaves occur at the base of the stem (basal leaves).

Fruit Seed Description

Flowers form 4 nutlets, with each nutlet containing one seed.

May Be Confused With

It’s similar to clary sage (Salvia sclarea), another Class A noxious weed. One difference is the small bract under the flower whorls compared to the larger bract of the clary sage. For help with identification, contact your county noxious weed coordinator.

Where does it grow?

Meadow clary has been found in dry well drained sites as well as less well drained meadow areas. Please click hereto see a county level distribution map of meadow clary in Washington.

How Does it Reproduce?

Meadow clary reproduces by seed.

How Do I Control It?

Herbicide Control

Please refer to the PNW Weed Management Handbook, or contact your county noxious weed coordinator.

For More Information

See our postcard for early detection information about meadow clary and clary sage.

See our Written Findings for more information about meadow clary (Salvia pratensis).

Invasives.org webpage on Salvia pratensis

UW Burke Herbarium image database information on Salvia pratensis

Stevens County NWCB Fact Sheet on meadow clary

Additional Photos