Native to Mediterranean woodlands and shrub lands, this tender herbaceous perennial is a member of the deadnettle family, Lamiaceae, that also includes mint, rosemary, and beebalm.  The plants grow up to 3′ tall and have 4-angled, stiff stems carrying paried, wrinkled leaves with toothed margins.  From mid-spring into summer the 3/4″ long  violet flowers are borne in whorls of 6-12 and are strongly 2-lipped.  The inflorescence consists of a strong central spike  and 3 pairs of lateral branches that bend upwards and inwards. Historians think that the inflorescence resembles a menorah, the seven-branched Jewish ceremonial candlestick. The plant has been used since ancient times as a medicinal herb and is an attractive addition to a medicinal herb garden or garden border.   The genus name, Salvia, comes   from the Latin salvere, meaning to save, and refers to the healing properties of the plant.  The specific epithet, judaica, is from the Hebrew יהודה, Yehudah, Judah, the name given to the mountaious southern part of the Land of Israel.

Type: Tender herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Whorls of 6-12 violet, 2-lipped flowers from mid spring into summer

Size: 3′ H x 3′ W

Light: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Average, medium moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 8-11

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Seed

Companion Plants: Zinnia, petunia, marigold

Outstanding Selections: Unknown

Photo Credit: Gideon-Pisanty-Wikipedia


By Karen