Salvia lyrata is a native wildflower with light blue to violet flowers. Blooms appear on 1 to 1.5 foot tall flower spikes in early spring. The tubular flowers provide food for hummingbirds and many species of butterflies. This salvia will grow in full sun to medium shade. It thrives throughout the eastern U.S. in zones 6-9.
On the close-up photo you can see the angular stems that are typical of most species in the Lamiaceae family. Individual flowers are about an inch long.
The plant is compatible with most perennial lawn grasses and is sometimes used in roadside wildflower plantings. When naturalized in grasses, the foliage lays flat against the ground and the plant is somewhat inconspicuous except when in flower. The deeply lobed foliage usually has dark purple markings and when planted alone in beds it forms a low-growing evergreen groundcover. Seed heads turn brown and drop fresh seed about a month after flowering.
Flat rosette typical of plants in grassed areas.
To the right: Clumping growth habit when grown in beds.
A few of the leaf variations found on my property ranging from nearly solid purple and deeply lobed, to mostly green and fewer lobes.
The young leaves have a minty flavor and can be used raw in salads, or cooked. The entire plant can be harvested and dried (when in bloom) and brewed into a tea.