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One Man’s Weed Is Another Man’s FLower

Ask the Expert: Please identify, whether this is weeds or not?

I found this ground covering plant in my garden, with purple flowers in Spring.  It has a strong lavenderish/menthol smell when the leaves are broken.  It looks like a ground cover. The purple flowers are constantly visited by insects too.  Is it a weed or not? Please let me know if I can propagate them further? Bianca

Salvia Plant Salvia - Sage Plant


I believe you have a form of Salvia.  I think it is Salvia melissodora. However, the height is of concern.  Salvia melissodora can become quite tall.  How long have you noticed this plant? How tall is it?  Where are you located and when was the picture taken? I am concerned because most Salvia plants don’t bloom until summer.  The Salvia genus contains about 900 species.  In order to truly pinpoint the identification, I would need a little more information.  But based on the picture and the scent description it could be  Salvia melissodora, Salvia officinalis, Salvia chamaedryoides.  This genus is often referred to as Sages.  Many species in this genus are edible.

As to whether it is a weed or a flower, that’s a tricky question.  Every perennial flower is a weed somewhere.  If you didn’t plant this specimen, it may be invasive.  However, it was purposely planted by someone it may be a perfectly good perennial plant or an annual that has re-seeded itself.  My rule of thumb is – if you like it and can control it – leave it.

If could take picture with a close look at the flower, it could help with identification.

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