Author Topic: Salvia lyrata [lyre-leaf sage]  (Read 7944 times)

Offline Whiterock

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Salvia lyrata [lyre-leaf sage]
« on: July 10, 2008, 04:09:04 AM »
These are about a foot tall and have a cluster of oval leaves around the bottom of one to three flower stalks. The stalks have one or two sets of small narrow leaves, opposite eachother. The flowers are mostly green with bright purple edges. I've never seen them open any further than what you see in the photos so I'm fairly confident that they do not have separate petals and are simply tubular flowers with ribs and points (typically, two points on bottom & three on top). The flowers are not soft or flimsy but kinda stiff like leaves and they are fuzzy. There are also two green balls (seeds?) inside each flower.









WR
« Last Edit: July 14, 2008, 03:38:13 PM by Whiterock »
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Offline Whiterock

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YoopreMama

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2008, 01:48:41 PM »
This one is a hum-dinger!  :D

It looks like it belongs in the lobelia family...that's where I'm looking...

Offline Gigi

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2008, 02:05:52 PM »
Is there any chance that the flowers already bloomed and died back and the "seeds" are swelling in its place?


YoopreMama

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2008, 02:42:46 PM »
Is that stem square?

Offline Whiterock

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2008, 04:22:33 PM »
No, those are the only "blooms" I ever see on it. (I've seen it for years but never tried to figure out what it is 'til now.)

And yep the stem is square, but it's not flat on the sides. It's like four mountains (the corners of the stem) and valleys in between -if that makes any sense.

WR
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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2008, 04:40:09 PM »
So...any smell to it?

Offline Whiterock

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2008, 05:15:44 PM »
Not that I can recall. I'm pretty sure the flowers don't have a sent. And I'll go out tomorrow and see if I can find the base of one, crush a leaf, and report back on that part.

WR
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Offline Whiterock

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2008, 07:12:31 PM »
Details taken from photos...











WR
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YoopreMama

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2008, 03:04:06 PM »
I have e-mailed this page to Dan @ 2bnTheWild.com and asked him to help ID this plant.  :)

I searched some sites devoted to Georgia wildflowers, but to no avail...even checked on Georgia's invasive weeds--doesn't appear to be one.

Wish I could search 2bnTheWild by color but it won't load.   :(
« Last Edit: July 12, 2008, 03:23:02 PM by Yooper »

Offline Mrs. B

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2008, 03:23:21 PM »
I have e-mailed this page to Dan @ 2bnTheWild.com and asked him to help.  :)

Good! I have looked in every wildflower/herb/plant book I have and can't find it. 

YoopreMama

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2008, 03:33:25 PM »
Me, too--looked at every page in Newcomb's.  ::)

That square stem makes me think "mint" family, but not finding it...orchids and loosestrife and lopseed...no, no, no.

Offline Whiterock

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2008, 04:14:19 PM »
I found some more today. There is no discernible scent to the flowers or the crushed leaves. The flowers are not a stiff as I thought they were when I wrote to original description so they do have a softer, petal-like feel. I also found out that the small leaves opposite eachother on the stalk are at the bottom of each flower cluster. And one more thing, in case it's important, the flowers are on little steams and you can see one where a flower fell off in one of the detail photos above.

WR
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YoopreMama

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2008, 04:29:07 PM »
I found some more today. There is no discernible scent to the flowers or the crushed leaves. The flowers are not a stiff as I thought they were when I wrote to original description so they do have a softer, petal-like feel. I also found out that the small leaves opposite each other on the stalk are at the bottom of each flower cluster. And one more thing, in case it's important, the flowers are on little stems and you can see one where a flower fell off in one of the detail photos above.

WR
The flowers being on stems make it a raceme vs. a spike (however you phrase that).  That is helpful.

I think that the little leaves under the flowers might be the sepals (?), putting this in the category of plants w/ basal leaves.

Offline Mrs. B

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2008, 04:50:33 PM »
I don't think that this is right, but the only thing I could come up with is some kind of wild tobacco? maybe?

Offline Whiterock

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2008, 05:20:09 PM »
All the Wild Tobacco and Lobelia plants that I saw online were way to big. The tallest on of these that I've see was barely a foot tall, if that. No wait a minute... I have to have a visual aid in order to really get a grasp on measurements and I just looked at a sheet of typing paper, so... I have to correct myself and say that it was definitely less than a foot tall. Probably closer to 6-8 inches.  :-[

Oh, and I thought that sepals had to be on each flower. The two little leaves on this plant are on the stalk right under the flower clusters. Each cluster can have as many as six flowers but there are only two leaves. There's nothing at the base of each individual flower.

WR
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YoopreMama

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2008, 05:27:07 PM »
I think I may have it!  ;D

Lyre-leaf sage, Salvia lyrata.

I used these terms in Google, "basal leaves hairy stem square purple green flowers raceme".  This site came up 1st:

http://hernando.fnpschapters.org/pdfs/blueflowers.pdf  I saw the description and pix were close.  So then I looked up lyre leaf sage. 

Look at this and imagine that the flowers fell off:
http://www.pbase.com/kclisk/image/61109463

It would be in the mint family.

http://www.2bnthewild.com/plants/H116.htm

What do you think?

YoopreMama

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2008, 05:35:44 PM »
Newcomb's has it, and if you look carefully, it matches (shows some petals or whatever fallen off).  Written description matches, too.

http://www.floridata.com/ref/S/salv_lyr.cfm has good info on it.

Offline Whiterock

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2008, 05:38:02 PM »
I'm sorry Yooper, but that doesn't look like it at all. Even if I don't compare the flowers, the leaves are very different.

I sure hope we can get this one identified. I'm curious beyond reason.

Here's another bit of info, if it helps. The leaves are not soft. They look like they are in the photos, but they are pretty stiff and will break easily if bent in half.

WR
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Offline Whiterock

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2008, 05:43:31 PM »
I do have to say that if the sepal or base of that flower looks like what's on this plant. But not much else. I wonder what they would look like if they weren't mowed all the time.

WR
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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2008, 05:46:11 PM »

YoopreMama

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2008, 05:50:07 PM »
Hmmm...the leaves aren't the same, no.  Maybe we're getting close?

YoopreMama

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2008, 05:52:37 PM »
Look at this image of lyre-leaf sage:
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/104416/

Offline Whiterock

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2008, 05:57:34 PM »
Oh absolutely. The more I look at it the more I think they HAVE to be related. That looks just like the "flowers" (what I thought were flowers) and the stem. But the leaves are not right and the plant in my yard is definitely smaller. Since the lyre-leaf sage is named so as to draw attention to the shape of it's leaves, I wonder if that's an unusual leaf for this type of plant. If so, then the rest of the family may have oval leaves.

WR
« Last Edit: July 12, 2008, 06:00:38 PM by Whiterock »
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YoopreMama

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2008, 06:03:33 PM »

Offline Whiterock

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2008, 06:04:01 PM »
Have to give some credit to Gigi...
Is there any chance that the flowers already bloomed and died back and the "seeds" are swelling in its place?

She was right about the flowers falling off. I do wonder why I've never seen them in full bloom? The only time I've ever seen them is like they are in the photos. Maybe I don't think of them as being the same plant when I see them in full bloom. That's a possibility.

WR
« Last Edit: July 12, 2008, 06:08:13 PM by Whiterock »
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Offline Whiterock

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #26 on: July 12, 2008, 06:12:53 PM »
Or this one:
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/129582/
--the leaves are shaped more like yours.
and this one:
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/195007/

The first link has the same leaf shape. They are a different color and the plant looks bigger, but the photo was take in October... maybe I should ask dh not to mow that patch this summer and see what happens to them as they grow.

Thanks Yooper! You've surely found the family this plant belongs to!

WR
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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2008, 06:22:25 PM »
That IS curious--why you don't see them/recognize them in full bloom. ???  I wonder if they have some predator?  :o  :D  No more mowing!   >:(  ;D

Gigi--you're so clever!  ;)

So we start here (from http://www.zzforkids.com/Plants/S/Salvia_lyrata_Purple_Knockout.asp):

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ay) Lindley, 1836, nom. cons. - Mint Family

Subfamily: Nepetoideae

Tribe: Salvieae

Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) Linnaeus, 1753 - Sage

Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Tall purple flowers?
« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2008, 06:35:03 PM »
Something funny...
http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/boone/education/05_17_05mint.shtml
mentions it NOT smelling like mint!  

This is about mowing, the flowers (when they aren't produced), and their seeds:
http://plant-materials.nrcs.usda.gov/pubs/mspmcfssaly2.pdf