Lyre-leaf Sage - Cancer Weed
Salvia lyrata
Lamiaceae (Mint) Family

Plant is an upright, smooth to slightly hairy perennial. Preferred habitat is yards, fields, woods and at roadsides. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are in a basal rosette and one to two pairs on the stem; basal leaves are widest at the middle to slightly egg-shaped; stalked, with margins smooth, toothed or lobed. Leaf base graduates to a narrow point.

Flowers are in a panicle (where more than one flower appears on a stalk), at the end of a long flowering stem. Calyx is bilabiate (two lipped); corolla is light blue, purple or white; two or four stamens. Flowers occur in the spring.

Fruit is a capsule having two or more seed chambers.

The exposed lower lip of the flower provides an excellent landing platform for bees. When the bee sits on the lip, the two stamens are tipped, and the insect is doused with pollen. Salvia is easily grown in wildflower gardens.

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