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Salvia sclarea, clary, or clary sage, is a biennial herb in the genus Salvia which is native throughout Europe and east and central Asia, but which was historically mostly found in southern France, Italy, Switzerland, and Syria. At maturity it reaches 1 m in height and has opposing, wooly-texture leaves that are 10-20 cm long and 6-12 cm broad. Its flowers appear in several clusters of 2-6 on the stem, are 2.5-3.5 cm long, and are white, pink, or pale purple in color. Clary has a strong and unusual odour that is considered unpleasant by some and very attractive to others.
Additional recommended knowledge
Today it is mostly grown in England, France, and southern Russia for the perfume industry.
The distilled essential oil is occasionally found in specialty stores and scent shops. This odour is sometimes described as "sweaty", spicy, or "hay-like".
Clary seeds have a mucilaginous coat, which is why old herbals recommended placing a seed into the eye of someone with a foreign object in it so that it could adhere to the object and make it easy to remove.
The leaves have also been used as a vegetable.
In ales, clary was used as a flavouring before the use of hops became common. Additionally it has been used to flavour wine, notably muscatel, and some tobacco products.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Salvia_sclarea". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|