This section is from the book "Wayside And Woodland Blossoms", by Edward Step. Also available from Amazon: Wayside And Woodland Blossoms: A Guide To British Wild-Flowers.
In speaking of the Bugle on page 22 we promised to say more of Labiate flowers further on. Salvia is a labiate, and of similar construction to Ajuga. S. pratensis is a rare plant, found only in Cornwall, Kent, and Oxford, from June to August. The soft wrinkled leaves have the edges cut into convex teeth (crenate). The flowers are large and bright blue; they are borne in whorls, usually of four or five flowers, on a tall spike. There is a more frequent species, the Wild Sage or Clary (S. verbenaca), found in dry pastures all over the kingdom south of Ross-shire from June to September. It is similar in habit to pratensis, but smaller, with the flowers more inclined to purple. The Sage of the kitchen-garden is S. officinalis; not a native plant. The name Salvia is from the Latin Salvo, to save or heal, from its former great repute in medicine.
Salvia pratensis. - Labiatae. -