herbcottage logo

Items in your cart: 0

You have no items in your shopping cart.

herbcottage logo

Salvia sclarea 'Clary Sage'

In Stock: Hurry less than 10 left!


This is how we pack and send your Herb Plants to all states except TAS & WA

You will receive
- 1 Clary Sage Herb Plant in a 50 X 75mm tube - General growing instructions

All of our Herb Plants are grown organically with certified organic potting mixes and fertilizers

Clary Sage
Botanical Name: Salvia sclarea

Clary Sage is an herbaceous biennial or short lived perennial, growing to about 1 meter, although the range varies with different cultivars. The green-grey leaves are, quite simply, huge! They are 30cm long at the base and may be up to 50cm long as they move up the stems, and as wide as a hand span in some cases. The leaves are arranged in pairs around the hair covered, square brownish stems. They are oblong and heart shaped with a wrinkled, velvet like texture and toothed margins.

The summer blooming flowers are held in bracts that range in colour from pale mauve to lilac and extend up long, loose terminal spikes. The 2.5cm corolla is a lilac or pale blue and sits wide open, with the most colour on the margins. There are several modern cultivars, including ‘Turkestanica’ with pink stems and white flecked flowers on long 75cm spikes. They are strong bee and butterfly attractants and apiarists often plant them for their bees.

The whole plant has a strong aroma, which some say is very like lavender and others say it is like pineapple. Still further descriptions suggest that it is a musky aroma that is either loved, or hated and likened to an ‘old socks’ smell. The aroma is courtesy of the active constituents in the plant. Salvia sclarea has a long history of medicinal use and is currently grown commercially for its essential oils.

The Clary Sage is an ancient plant and centuries ago there were many garden varieties that went by names such as Horminum and Gallitricum. The plant may also go by the name Clear Eye and Eye Bright in reference to early medicinal uses. The English name Clary is derived from the Latin ‘sclarea’, which is from the word ‘clarus’ meaning ‘clear’. This was due to the use of the plant to clear eyes, and the name clary eventually became ‘clear eye’ in many areas.

Clary Sage is native to the northern Mediterranean, specifically Syria, Italy, Southern France and Switzerland. It also grows naturally in some areas of northern Africa and central Asia. It has been naturalised to many areas of Europe and throughout the world. The salvia family has over 900 members with an extensive history as culinary, medicinal and ornamental plants.

Ornamental salvias have become collectors’ items, as gardeners try to find a place in their garden for each and every one. There are salvias that will suit every type of soil and climate. More information on the Salvia genus and Common Sage (Salvia officinalis) may be found on our Common Sage page.

Medicinal Uses

Clary Sage has a strong tradition of medicinal use and is used by herbalists today, as an essential oil. Traditionally it was used for numerous complaints, in particular stomach and digestive problems, kidney complaints and for insomnia. In the 1st Century, the medicinal use of clary sage was mentioned in writing by Dioscorides and Pliny the Elder, while Theophrastus wrote about the herb in the 4th Century. In 1653, clary sage was recorded as being called ‘clear eye’ due to its value in removing foreign objects from eyes. The seeds have a mucilaginous coat and when crushed make a sticky paste that may be placed in the eye to help adhere to the offending object.

Today herbalists use it for a variety of purposes including treating depression, anxiety and fear, as an antispasmodic, and to treat menstrual concerns. Clary sage may be used fresh or dry. However, it should not be used by pregnant women. Additional information about the uses of sage may be found in the Common Sage entry.

An old herbal remedy was to use ‘the juice of the herb, drunk in ale or beer, as a treatment for women’s disorders.’ In Jamaica, where the plant grew naturally, local people used clary sage to help heal ulcers, inflammation of the eye, and in combination with coconut to cure scorpion stings.

Culinary Uses

Today, Clary sage is used as flavouring in vermouths, wines and liqueurs. In 1822, a writer detailed the use of Clary Sage in wines and as hops for beers. In Germany, the plant is called Muscatel Sage, due to the early use of the plant, combined with Elder Flower, to flavour Rhenish wines giving them a taste similar to Muscatel.

Other Uses

Clary sage is used as a tonic to help clean greasy hair, as well as a fixative in perfumes, soaps and cosmetics. The aroma of the essential oil is like that of ambergris. It may be used for cut flowers, although some suggest that the aroma is too strong and that the plant should be dried first and used as everlastings.

All information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. Please seek professional advice before commencing any treatment.



We send (Australia wide, excluding Western Australia and Tasmania):

Monday and Tuesday (for all zones)

Wednesday (if you are in a next day delivery zone)

Delivery estimate*:
For next day delivery zone
The next day after shipping ------------ $12.95 Express Post
For non next day delivery zone
In 2 to 5 days after shipping ----------- $12.95 Express Post


We send (Australia wide):

Monday to Friday

Delivery estimate*:
For next day delivery zone
The next day after shipping ------------ $12.95 Express Post
In 2 to 8 days after shipping ----------- $10.95 Standard Post
For non next day delivery zone
In 2 to 5 days after shipping ----------- $12.95 Express Post
In 2 to 8 days after shipping ----------- $10.95 Standard Post

*Subjected to actual conditions. Find out more about our Delivery information.


If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, you can either return your order for a full refund or exchange it for online store credit.

Find out more about our Returns information.

Please wait...

The item(s) have been added to your cart. X View cart & checkout >
Continue shopping View cart & checkout