Woody Labiates

Jerusalem Sage Common Rosemary Narrow-leaved Lavender Common Sage

What are they?

These species are all members of the Lamiaceae - the Labiate family - and this page brings together species that are perennial with woody bases and form low shrubs rather than herbaceous perennials. Many of these plants are aromatic and are popular either as garden ornamentals or as culinary or medicinal herbs. The tubular flowers are often very popular with pollinating insects.

Where are they found?

Most of these plants occur as garden escapes or throw-outs and can turn up in a variety of places on roadsides, urban areas and waste ground.

Identification

This is an artificial grouping of members of the Labiate family, based purely on their growth style (perennials with a woody base). Plants on this page should be readily identifiable by differences in their leaves and flowers.



Narrow-leaved Lavender     Lavandula angustifolia

Introduced from southern Europe. A popular garden plant that occasionally persists from dumped garden waste. Flowers June to September. A grey-downy plant with linear leaves that are greatly inrolled at the margins (most noticeable from the underside). Highly aromatic in all of its parts.

Narrow-leaved Lavender Narrow-leaved Lavender Narrow-leaved Lavender Narrow-leaved Lavender
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Hybrid Lavender     Lavandula x intermedia

A garden cultivated variety that occasionally survives for a while from dumped garden waste. Flowers June to September. Very similar to Narrow-leaved Lavender, but the leaves are less obviously inrolled at the margins and a little broader overall. Highly aromatic in all of its parts.

Hybrid Lavender
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Common Rosemary     Rosmarinus officinalis

Popular as a garden plant and culinary herb. May occasionally be found surviving from garden throw-outs. Flowers June to September. A highly aromatic, evergreen shrub with linear leaves that have inrolled margins. Flowers are light blue or rarely pinkish, or almost white with bluish spots. The flowers have prominent, very long, arched stamens.

Common Rosemary Common Rosemary Common Rosemary Common Rosemary
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Low Cat-mint     Nepeta x faasenii

The common cat-mint grown in gardens and occasionally surviving in the wild for a time from garden throw-outs, or spreading vegetatively onto roadsides from neighbouring properties. Flowers June to September. An untidy perennial that flops over and forms low mounds of vegetation. Leaves are densely grey-hairy and the whole plant has a very strong aroma.

Low Cat-mint Low Cat-mint Low Cat-mint Low Cat-mint
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Common Sage     Salvia officinalis

Popular as a garden plant and culinary herb. No recent records from the wider countryside but it has been recorded in the past. Flowers June to September. Garden plants often involve varieties with variegated or purple leaves. A woody-based, perennial subshrub with leaves that are softly felted and deeply-veined.

Common Sage Common Sage Common Sage Common Sage
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Jerusalem Sage     Phlomis fruticosa

Introduced from the Mediterranean region and popular as a garden ornamental. Occasionally found as a survivor from dumped garden waste and also found once or twice having self-seeded in milder, coastal areas. Flowers June to September. A woody-based, perennial subshrub with leaves that are softly felted and deeply-veined like those of Common Sage, but they are shorter. Plants can be identified when not flowering by the distinctive, persistent, brown seedheads.

Jerusalem Sage Jerusalem Sage Jerusalem Sage Jerusalem Sage
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