Showy perennial or biennial plants have big velvety leaves. Tall spikes of aromatic lavender blooms with pink bracts appear in midsummer. Grow in full sun and sandy, well-drained soil. Self-sows.
Traditional Healing Uses: Often combined with chamomile tea to sooth upset stomaches and digestive problems. Clary tea has also been used to treat kidney ailments, and clary tea compresses have been applied to swelling, ulcers, and boils.
Other Uses: Leaves may be dipped in batter and fried to make fritters, while flowers and seeds attract hummingbirds and goldfinches to the garden.
Harvest: Gather and dry leaves and flowers in early bloom.
Preparation: Pour boiling water on 1-2 teaspoons of dried herb and let steep 10-15 minutes.
Caution: Do not use during pregnancy.