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Salvia nemorosa is often confused with:
Salvia x digenea Salvia x superba
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Viola pedata Viola pedata
Thymus vulgaris Thymus vulgaris
Tilia americana Tilia americana

Salvia nemorosa

Previously known as:

  • Sclarea nemorosa
  • Sclarea punctata
Phonetic Spelling
SAL-vee-uh nem-or-OH-suh
Description

Woodland Sage is a clump-forming deciduous perennial in the mint family native to Europe and Asia. The violet-blue flowers appear on dense spike-like racemes from June to September. Flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies. Once the plant has bloomed and the stem has turned brown, cut it down to the basal leaves and new flowers will appear. They often repeat bloom more than once.

This is an easy plant to grow in full sun to partial shade in average, moist, well-drained soil. It prefers sandy or gravelly soil but tolerates most well-drained soils.

Use in the front of the perennial border in groups of 3 or more for the best effect. Useful in a pollinator garden, cottage garden or along walkways and small spaces.

Many cultivars exist to extend the flower color and size range available.

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

More information on Salvia.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Pollinator Garden- Full Sun
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Balyriclu' Lyrical™ Blues
    Dark burgandy buds violet blue flowers, compact
  • 'Caradonna'
    Dark purple stems and blue-violet flowers
  • 'May Night'
    Dark violet blue purple flowers in May-June
  • 'New Dimension Rose'
    vivid rose pink flowers on upright 10-12" flower stalks.
  • 'New Dimensions Blue'
    Dark blue flowers, 1-2 feet tall
'Balyriclu' Lyrical™ Blues, 'Caradonna', 'May Night', 'New Dimension Rose', 'New Dimensions Blue'
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#hummingbirds#sun#showy flowers#drought tolerant#perennial#wildlife plant#nectar plant#low maintenance#rabbit resistant#multistemmed#deer resistant#woodland#borders#clumping#nectar plant spring#sandy soils tolerant#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#HS302
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Balyriclu' Lyrical™ Blues
    Dark burgandy buds violet blue flowers, compact
  • 'Caradonna'
    Dark purple stems and blue-violet flowers
  • 'May Night'
    Dark violet blue purple flowers in May-June
  • 'New Dimension Rose'
    vivid rose pink flowers on upright 10-12" flower stalks.
  • 'New Dimensions Blue'
    Dark blue flowers, 1-2 feet tall
'Balyriclu' Lyrical™ Blues, 'Caradonna', 'May Night', 'New Dimension Rose', 'New Dimensions Blue'
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#hummingbirds#sun#showy flowers#drought tolerant#perennial#wildlife plant#nectar plant#low maintenance#rabbit resistant#multistemmed#deer resistant#woodland#borders#clumping#nectar plant spring#sandy soils tolerant#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#HS302
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Salvia
    Species:
    nemorosa
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The leaves have been used in Turkish medicine to stop bleeding by applying externally.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe and west-central Asia
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 6 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Lavender to violet-blue flowers with reddish-purple bracts densely packed in whorls on racemes held above the leaves June to September in flushes.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    3-4 inch long green or gray-green leaves have a wrinkled appearance and toothed margins. Aromatic when crushed.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
    Stem Description:
    Square green stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bats
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Pollution
    Rabbits