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Saliva lyrata

Lyre-leaf Sage (Salvia lyrata) perhaps the one wildflower that does not need an introduction as it is probably the most widespread, most common, and perhaps the most ided spring plant.  It is also known as wild sage and cancerweed and is a native herbaceous perennial in the mint family (Lamiaceae).  The stems are square in cross-section and it has a distinct set of lyre-shaped (often purplish or reddish especially underneath) basal leaves. Often with two opposite stem leaves.  All leaves are simple and have pinnate major veins. The inflorescences are terminal spikes. The flowers are perfect and irregular, with five two-lipped sepals, five petals, and two exserted stamens. The five blue to purple (rarely white) petals are two-lipped, with two petals in the upper lip and three in the lower lip. The four-lobed ovary is superior, and the style arises between the lobes. The fruit is a schizocarp with four mericarps. Caterpillars of the Painted Lady butterfly plus the Southern Pink Moth and Virginian Tiger Moth are reported to eat the leaves of the genus Salvia.  Lots of this plant on Allen Acres.

Salvia lyrata flowers.jpg
Salvia lyrata basal leaves 2.jpg
Salvia lyrata pair of stem leaves.jpg
Salvia lyrata stem leaves.jpg
Salvia lyrata basal leaves.jpg
Salvia lyrata basal leaves 3.jpg
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