Painted Sage
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Painted Sage
ntroduced Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Painted Sage, Annual Clary Sage, Annual Clary, Orval, Horminum Clary
Botanical name: Salvia viridis    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Salvia horminum

Clary Sage is an annual herb native to an area extending from the Mediterranean to Iran. The plant quickly grows to 1-2 feet tall and 1 foot wide, with a flowering period of over a month. Purple bracts almost hide the tiny two-lipped flowers, which are cream-colored, with the upper lip tinged with purple or rose, reflecting the bract color. The flowers last well as cut flowers or dried flowers. In "A Modern Herbal", M. Grieve and C. F. Lyel write that the seeds and leaves of Salvia viridis used to be added to fermenting vats to greatly increase the inebriating quality of the liquor. It was also reported to be a good honey-producing plant. In India, it is cultivated as a garden plant in Kashmir.
Medicinal uses: An infusion of the leaves was used for sore gums, and powdered leaves for snuff.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh
Photographed in Hazuribagh Garden, Srinagar, Kashmir.
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