Clary





(Salvia sclarea, Linn.), a perennial herb of the natural order

Labiatae. The popular name is a corruption of the specific. In the

discussion on sage will be found the significance of the generic name.

Syria is said to be the original home of clary, but Italy is also

mentioned. The presumption is in favor of the former country, as it is

the older, and the plant was probably carried westward from it by

soldiers or merchants. In England clary was known prior to 1538, when

Turner published his garden lore, but in America, except in foreigners'

gardens, it is rarely seen. It has been listed in seedsmen's catalogs

since 1806.



Description.--The large, very broad, oblong, obtuse, toothed, woolly

haired, radical leaves are grayish green and somewhat rumpled like those

of Savoy cabbage. From among them rise the 2-foot tall, square,

branching, sparsely leaved stems, which during the second year bear

small clusters of lilac or white showy flowers in long spikes. The

smooth brown or marbled shining seeds retain their germinating power for

three years.



Cultivation.--The plants thrive in any well-drained soil. Seed may be

sown during March in drills 18 inches apart where the plants are to

remain or in a seedbed for transplanting 18 inches asunder in May. Clean

cultivation is needed throughout the summer until the plants have full

possession of the ground. In August the leaves may be gathered, and if

this harvest be judiciously done the production of foliage should

continue until midsummer of the second year, when the plants will

probably insist upon flowering. After this it is best to rely upon new

plants for supplies of leaves, the old plants being pulled.



Uses.--In America, the leaves are little used in cookery, and even in

Europe they seem to be less popular than formerly, sage having taken

their place. Wine is sometimes made from the plant when in flower. As an

ornamental, clary is worth a place in the hardy flower border.





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