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  • Writer's pictureOrsula Adler

A very delicate looking but truly hardy Salvia

I started to grow a few years ago a very unique looking perennial. I didn’t know at that stage that a very tall, delicate looking plant can be that hardy. I did try since in very poor soil, clay, sandy and in very windy conditions too and I can tell I had a very pleasant surprise.

This is a Salvia sclarea var. turkestanica 'Vatican White'. clar

Common name is Clary Sage, as all Salvias it is a medicinal plant with so many benefits but most importantly for us, it has a very attractive structure, tall, white, elegant and compared to most tall growing perennials this is the one doesn’t need to be staked. It’s best it is shown in full sun, the flowering stem gets strong enough to hold the flowers even after a rainy day.

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esn’t need to be staked. It’s best it is shown in full suflowering ste

It is a very versatile plant. A great candidate for most of the gardens adding strong vertical punctuation, its ability to thrive in free draining soil with little watering makes it ideal for a gravel garden too.

Unfortunately, it is not propagated by nurseries although it is an easy to grow plant not very sensitive on diseases and even the pests are not very attracted by it.



This is a brilliant bee and butterfly plant. Great addition to a cottage garden and formal ones too.

They are very adaptable plants. Planted in poor soil they won’t reach their maximum height but will produce smaller and hardier flowering stems.

This makes Salvia Vatican White a great plant for holiday homes too. In case you don’t spend your whole summer in one place this can be a great elegant plant you don’t have to worry too much about. It’s important to train though but as soon as it is properly acclimatized it will be happily surviving the period with less attention.


It is a biannual plant which means it will grow flower in the second year and after producing the seeds it will die back. They are self-seeding so the change to have lots of small salvias after the flowering year it is pretty high. The other option is to cut back the flowering stems before they start to produce seeds, they will flower for the following year also. So, it won’t behave as a biennial anymore, more like a perennial which comes back every year.

If the winter isn’t too cold some of the leaves will overwinter as green in this case we talk about an evergreen perennial.

Such a great plant! Really good to have in your garden.

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