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Nettleleaf Sage, Wild Sage - Salvia urticifolia


Family: Lamiaceae - Mint family Genus Common Name: Sage Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Herb
Salvia urticifolia - Nettleleaf Sage, Wild Sage. Salvia is a large genus of around 600 species in the Mint family (Lamiaceae.) Over 90 Salvia species are found in the North America; over 20 of these are introduced. Salvia urticifolia - Nettleleaf Sage - is a species confined mostly to the southeastern part of the country, with Pennsylvania being at the northernmost extreme of its range. It is Endangered in Florida, Kentucky, and Maryland (possibly extirpated in Maryland.) It is found in dry open woods and forest edges. The ones I have encountered were near cedar glades, which are on shallow soil over limestone, providing soil tending toward basic pH, the preferred soil for this species.

Found in:
AL, DC, FL, GA, KY, MD, MS, NC, PA, SC, TN, VA

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Salvia urticifolia

Distribution of Salvia urticifolia in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 21 Oct 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Chickamauga Battlefield, Catoosa County, Ga Date: 2014-April-29Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The plant is covered with glandular hairs; I've seen it described as 'viscid' - sticky.
Salvia urticifolia

Site: Chickamauga Battlefield, Catoosa County, Ga Date: 2014-April-29Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The stem is terminated with a racemose inflorescence 4 to 8 inches long. The pedicellate flowers are in whorls around the axis.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Salvia urticifolia

Site: Chickamauga Battlefield, Catoosa County, Ga Date: 2014-May-03Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
While the flowers usually are violet or lavender to dark blue marked with white as in these photos, they may also occasionally be white.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Salvia urticifolia

Site: Chickamauga Battlefield, Catoosa County, Ga Date: 2014-April-29Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Salvia urticifolia grows to about 20 inches tall. It will have several pairs of opposite leaves with winged petioles more or less evenly spaced along the stem.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Salvia urticifolia

Site: Chickamauga Battlefield, Catoosa County, Ga Date: 2014-April-29Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Urtica is the nettle genus, providing the species epithet for Salvia urticifolia. “Urticifolia” refers to the nettle-like leaves.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Salvia urticifolia

Site: Chickamauga Battlefield, Catoosa County, Ga Date: 2014-April-29Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
I don’t recognize the gland-like structures at the base of the pedicels.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Salvia urticifolia

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer