1. Family: Lamiaceae Martinov
    1. Genus: Phlomis L.
      1. Phlomis russeliana (Sims) Lag. ex Benth.

        Turkish sage is an attractive, long-flowering perennial. Within the horticultural trade it is sometimes known by the (misapplied) name Phlomis viscosa, because of its sticky leaves. The well-known gardener William Robinson (1838-1935) described the genus Phlomis as: ‘A group of old-fashioned shrubs and perennial plants’, and P. viscosa itself as: ‘A rather clammy plant...with...numerous bright yellow flowers of fine effect’. Dr John Sims, who succeeded William Curtis as editor of Curtis’s Botanical Magazine from 1799 to 1827, formally named this plant (as Phlomis lunariifolia var. russeliana, in 1825), but he confused it with a similar species ( P. pungens Willd.) collected in Syria and illustrated by G.D. Ehret in Alexander Russell’s The Natural History of Aleppo (1786).

    [KSP]
    General Description
    Turkish sage is a stately plant, bearing whorls of hooded pale yellow flowers in summer and autumn.

    Turkish sage is an attractive, long-flowering perennial. Within the horticultural trade it is sometimes known by the (misapplied) name Phlomis viscosa, because of its sticky leaves. The well-known gardener William Robinson (1838-1935) described the genus Phlomis as: ‘A group of old-fashioned shrubs and perennial plants’, and P. viscosa itself as: ‘A rather clammy plant...with...numerous bright yellow flowers of fine effect’. Dr John Sims, who succeeded William Curtis as editor of Curtis’s Botanical Magazine from 1799 to 1827, formally named this plant (as Phlomis lunariifolia var. russeliana, in 1825), but he confused it with a similar species ( P. pungens Willd.) collected in Syria and illustrated by G.D. Ehret in Alexander Russell’s The Natural History of Aleppo (1786).

    Species Profile

    Geography and distribution

    Restricted to Turkey, where it occurs mainly in the north, from Istanbul, east along the Black Sea coast to Rize, and south to Kutahya. It has been found at up to 1,700 m above sea level.

    Description

    Turkish sage is a herbaceous perennial, growing to about 90 cm tall, spreading above and below ground, with softly wrinkled, ovate leaves, grey-green on the upper side, whitish and densely hairy beneath. The hooded, yellow flowers appear from May to September, and are carried in whorls at intervals up the stout flowering stem. The flowers are about 3 cm long and are bee-pollinated. The fruit is a nutlet.

    Uses

    Turkish sage is cultivated as an ornamental, and holds the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. It is a good ground cover species, suppressing weeds. Recent laboratory research has been carried out to investigate the antibacterial activity of its essential oils, which show potential for use in the food industry.

    Cultivation

    Turkish sage is a hardy species of Phlomis, which can be grown in any good, well-drained soil, in sun or partial shade. It has a long flowering-period, stretching from late spring to early autumn. It does well in sunny borders in British gardens, and is drought tolerant when established. Propagation can be carried out by division of the clumps.

    This species at Kew

    Phlomis russeliana can be seen growing near Victoria Gate and in the Rock Garden at Kew.

    Pressed and dried specimens of other species of Phlomisare held in Kew’s Herbarium, where they are available to researchers from around the world, by appointment. 

    Distribution
    Turkey
    Ecology
    Coniferous and deciduous woodland, clearings and in hazel scrub.
    Conservation
    Not known to be threatened.
    Hazards

    None known.

    Images

    Distribution

    Found In:

    Turkey

    Introduced Into:

    New Zealand South

    Common Names

    English
    Turkish sage

    Phlomis russeliana (Sims) Lag. ex Benth. appears in other Kew resources:

    First published in Labiat. Gen. Spec.: 629 (1834)

    Accepted in:

    • [3] Govaerts, R. (2003) World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS . The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • [5] (1988) Flora of New Zealand 4: 1-1365. R.E.Owen, Government Printer, Wellington.

    Literature

    • [1] World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (2010). The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • [2] Demirci, F. et al. (2008). Antibacterial activity of two Phlomis essential oils against food pathogens. Food Control 19: 1159-1164.
    • [4] Phillips, R. & Rix, M. (1991). Perennials, Volume 2. Pan Books Ltd.
    • [6] Huber-Morath, A. (1982). Labiatae: Phlomis russeliana. In: Flora of Turkey, Volume 7, ed. P.H. Davis. Edinburgh University Press.
    • [7] Robinson, W. (1933). The English Flower Garden, 15th edition. London.

    Sources

    International Plant Names Index
    The International Plant Names Index (2016). Published on the Internet http://www.ipni.org
    [A] © Copyright 2016 International Plant Names Index. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Species Profiles
    Kew Species Profiles
    [B] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
    [C]

    World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
    World Checklist of Selected Plant Families(2016). Published on the Internet http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    [D] See http://kew.org/about-kew/website-information/legal-notices/index.htm You may use data on these Terms and Conditions and on further condition that: The data is not used for commercial purposes; You may copy and retain data solely for scholarly, educational or research purposes; You may not publish our data, except for small extracts provided for illustrative purposes and duly acknowledged; You acknowledge the source of the data by the words "With the permission of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" in a position which is reasonably prominent in view of your use of the data; Any other use of data or any other content from this website may only be made with our prior written agreement. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
    [E] © Copyright 2016 International Plant Names Index and World Checkist of Selected Plant Families. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0