Salvia carduacea Benth.

Thistle Sage
Lamiaceae (Mint Family)


Thistle sage is an erect simple or few-branched annual with woolly herbage.  The spinose-toothed leaves are sinuate-pinnatifid, subsessile, generally oblong in outline and in a basal rosette.  The flowers appear on a scape to 20" tall in 1-4 interrupted whorls subtended by leafy, spinescent, densely white-wooly bracts.  The calyx is woolly with spine-tipped lobes and the corolla is lavender to blue, rarely white, with a laciniate upper lip and a lower lip with erose lateral lobes and a large fan-shaped fringed medial lobe.  The stamens are exserted and the anthers are reddish-orange. Thistle sage grows in dry sandy or gravelly places in chaparral and coastal sage scrub and also in the desert.  It blooms from March to June.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Salvia 2) carduacea.
Pronunciation: SAL-vee-a kar-dew-AY-see-a.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.


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