Information on Wild Clary

Common Name: Wild Clary
Scientific Name: Salvia verbenaca ssp. horminoides
Irish Name: Tormán
Family Group: Lamiaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Wild Clary is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


This is a rare native subspecies which flowers mainly in counties Cork and Wexford. It is a perennial and it grows to a height of about 80cm. Spikes of violet-blue flowers rise up from basal rosettes of wrinkly, sage-like leaves, the flowers blooming from May to August. Each flower is two-lipped – the hooded upper lip having two lobes, the lower being three-lobed. There are two stamens and a short style. The entire plant is finely hairy with glandular hairs towards the upper parts of the plant. It is a species which likes dry grassland. This is a member of the Dead-nettle (Lamiaceae) family.

I came across Wild Clary – much to my delight – purely by accident! It was a lovely occurrence and took place last June (2016) in County Wexford. I photographed it then. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Clary, Wild
Clary, Wild

The flowers of this subspecies are often ‘cleistogamous’ – that is to say that they do not open but become self-pollinated in the bud stage. In the Red Data List of Vascular Plants (2016), this is regarded as ‘a rare species in Ireland found in vulnerable habitats’. If you find it, please treat it with great care and respect!