(Bi-Color Meadow Sage or Meadow Clary Sage) Exceptionally cold tolerant, Salvia pratensis 'Proud Mary' is our own seed-grown strain of a plant identical to the patented S. pratensis 'Madeline'.
We gave Proud Mary the common name of Bi-Color Meadow Sage, because its parrot-beak shaped blossoms are purple on the top lip and white on the bottom. S. pratensis often is called Meadow Clary, so that explains the second common name.
This clump-forming sage's fragrant foliage is mid-green with larger oblong basal leaves. Smaller leaves sparsely punctuate flower spikes dense with blossoms.
This hardy perennial is part of the European Meadow Sage group, which is adaptable from full sun to partial shade. Meadow Sages are known for surviving chilly winters and adapting from full sun to partial shade. They do well with regular supplemental watering based on local rainfall. However, they enjoy lots of moisture as long as soil drainage is good.
Unlike some of its relatives, Bi-Color Meadow Sage tolerates heat. This long-blooming beauty is a favorite with butterflies and honeybees.
These are herbaceous perennial species with low mounds of foliage and flowers on stems that grow erect from the base of the plant.
Pruning is both an art and a science. It takes practice, experience and learning from your mistakes to become a proficient pruner. The pruning information about this plant should be considered as a guideline for getting started. Your particular climate, soils, watering and fertility schedules, sun exposure, space requirements and weather are all factors that influence how and when you choose to prune. We’re providing a starting place for you, and over time you will learn the particularities of this plant in your garden. Don’t be afraid to get started – Salvias, in general, are quick to rebound if inappropriately pruned.
Deadheading – the removal of spent flowers, is a practice that will always benefit the plant’s health and appearance. This can be done at any time. Pruning involves removal of entire stems of spent growth. Becoming "spent" means that flowering stems stop blooming and begin going to seed.
(Stem Clasping Violet Sage) Like a candelabra lit up with whorls of violet blossoms, the erect, branching flower spikes of Salvia amplexicaulis make this native of Southeastern Europe shine. On the Grecian island of Thassos, it brightens areas near the beach.
The summer-blooming flowers are nestled inside leaf-like burgundy bracts that attach directly to, or clasp, the flower stems without petioles. This gives the plant its common name. Its bright green, fragrant foliage has attractively bumpy, lance-shaped leaves. This sage is a good choice for perennial borders, woodland gardens and cut-flower beds.
Although S. amplexicaulis does fine with regular watering, it does love moisture. So it is an ideal choice for moist problem areas in the yard. Give it a setting with full sun to partial shade along with average garden soil that drains well. Deadhead the flowers to prolong bloom time and keep butterflies visiting. Speaking of wildlife, deer tend to avoid most sages including this one.
Here’s another reason to love this pretty plant: Scientists think that the essential oil of S. amplexicaulis may be useful in fighting bacterial infections.
Here is a link to a great set of pictures for this plant.
(Iranian Oil Sage) Butterflies and honeybees are drawn to the long blooming, dusky violet-blue flowers of Salvia atropatana. However, deer say no to its charms, due to its essential oils being less than tasty.
When not in bloom, Iranian Oil Sage appears petite. But then it shoots out long, branched flower spikes that are attractively dark and fuzzy. It grows well in full sun to partial shade, thrives with average watering based on local rainfall and tolerates heat and cold.
Native to Central Asia from Southeast Turkey to Iran, this Meadow Sage is closely related to S. pratensis. Its oils are the topic of Iranian cancer research. A 2013 study by Shiraz University indicates potential antioxidant use.
In 1873, Baltic botanist Alexander Georg von Bunge gave S. atropatana its name in his scientific memoir Labiatae Persicae. The book details plants in the mint family -- now mostly referred to as Laminaceae -- that Bunge encountered during his Asian plant explorations.
According to Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, scientific synonyms for this perennial include S. bachtiarica, which Bunge had identified as a separate species in his book, and S. kopetdaghensis.
Whorls of deep violet blossoms are cupped by dark bracts on the flower spikes of this mid-height herbaceous sage from Turkey. Its bright green foliage is thick, corrugated and fragrant. This plant is lovely and hardy, so it is surprising that it wasn’t introduced to commercial cultivation until 2007.
Salvia cadmica is an adaptable, heat-tolerant perennial that grows well in partial shade to full sun and blooms from late spring through early summer. It does well in USDA Zones 7 to 10, either in dry conditions or with regular watering due to its ability to tolerate drought.
In its homeland, it thrives in rocky, well-drained soil at altitudes of about 3,000 to 5,000 feet. It is endemic to Turkey, which means that is the only country where it grows wild without human intervention. There are nearly 100 species of salvia native to Turkey, of which more than 50 percent are endemic.
This colorful sage sometimes is mistaken for a neighboring plant, Salvia smyrnea and is occasionally referred to by the synonym Salvia conradii Staph .
Use it in perennial borders, along pathways and in dry gardens. Honeybees and butterflies will soon discover it and aid pollination throughout your gardens. Deer, however, will leave it alone.
(Red Veined Sage) In 1827, John Wilkes referred to Salvia haematodes as "Bloody Sage" in his Encyclopaedia Londinensis, Volume 22. This might seem mysterious when first viewing the sage's upright yet somewhat relaxed spikes of whorled, violet-colored flowers.
However, whether called "bloody" or "red veined," the species gets its common names from the red veins on the underside of its basal foliage. The large leaves are blue-green and shaped like spear tips.
Red Veined Sage is a petite, long-blooming species that has fragrant foliage. It grows well in full sun or partial shade and is a good solution for damp parts of the yard. Although water loving, this perennial can get by on average watering. Also, it is an extremely cold-hardy species.
Honeybees and butterflies enjoy the nectar and pollen of Salvia haematodes. Deer stay away from its foliage and its flowers, which are pretty in cut-flower arrangements.
Not that we recommend chewing on them, but the plant's thick roots are used in Indian ayurvedic medicine as an aphrodisiac. Also, a 1984 Indian medical study involving mice shows that the root has analgesic properties.
A 1984 medical study from India, which involved mice, shows that an extract made from Salvia haematodes root may be an effective analgesic.
(Blau Hügel Meadow Sage) When in bloom, petite Salvia nemorosa 'Blau Hügel' more than doubles in height. In English, the varietal name means "Blue Hill." Its tall, spike-like racemes of violet-blue flowers are so dense and compact that this woodland sage is sometimes called "Blue Mound."
This hardy perennial sage is a longtime favorite that German nurseryman Ernst Pagels introduced in the late 1950s. Pagels was a major influence on the naturalistic style of Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf. The Remembrance Gardens of New York's Battery Park, designed by Oudolf, contain Blau Hügel Sage.
Blau Hügel is part of the European Meadow Sage group, which is comprised of four main species -- S. nemorosa, S. pratensis, S. x sylvestris and S. x superba.
European Meadow Sages are adaptable from full sun to partial shade. They are known for excellent cold tolerance, adaptability from full sun to partial shade and appreciation of lots of moisture as long as soil drainage is good. Unlike some of its relatives, this variety also tolerates heat.
Due to a randy habit of cross hybridizing, confusion occurs in scientific naming of Meadow Sages. For example, S. nemorosa 'Blau Hügel' sometimes is referred to as a type of S. x sylvestris.
Whatever you call it, this long-blooming sage is a blue plate special for butterflies and honeybees. Fortunately, similar to so many Salvias, this plant doesn't call deer to dinner.
(Burgundy Candles Meadow Sage) When the burgundy buds of Salvia nemorosa 'Burgundy Candles' open, deep violet-blue flowers emerge. They are supported by burgundy and green bracts on purple stems.
The veined, lance-shaped leaves of this 2012 introduction are dark green and have serrated margins. Rising vertically above the foliage, the flower spikes look like cool flames. This long-blooming cultivar, which is native to Europe and Asia, is attractive to butterflies but not deer.
The mother plant -- Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna' -- was exposed to other Meadow Sages in a Ball Horticultural greenhouse. So Burgundy Candles Meadow Sage resulted from open pollination, and the father plant is unknown. Prodigious plant hybridizer Scott C. Trees is the inventor.
Ball describes this hybrid as being "most similar" to the unpatented Salvia nemorosa 'May Night', except for variations in flower and bract color.
Meadow Sages are fragrant perennials known for their ease of care and adaptability, including tolerance of heat and cold. As their group name implies, they commonly grow wild in meadows and pastures. This one does well in many kinds of soil as long as drainage is good. Give it average to ample water and full sun to partial shade.
(Royal Crimson Distinction Woodland Sage) Grown for hundreds of years in cottage gardens throughout the world, Salvia nemorosa was described by Carl Linneaus in 1762. This variety's large flower spikes bloom a dark violet-crimson, then age to a softer pink.
The species has experienced a great deal of breeding and improvement since the 1800s. Royal Crimson Distinction is one of the finest varieties we have seen to date. It tolerates the year-round warmth of Zone 9 as well as the winter chill of Zone 6
This water-loving sage blooms from spring through summer, attracting bumblebees, butterflies and hummingbirds, but not deer. It grows best in a sunny spot, but can tolerate partial shade. Plant it in well-drained soil with average fertility.
Long blooming and tough, this plant has become a mainstay of perennial borders worldwide. At 24 inches tall, it also works well as a groundcover or edging a path.
(Indigo Meadow Sage) When massed, this European sage compels attention during summer with its upright, foot-long spikes of deep violet-blue flowers and hairy, gray-green, basal foliage.
Indigo Meadow Sage is ideal for cut-flower bouquets. It's also ideal for attracting butterflies and honeybees. Further good news is that deer avoid it.
A water-loving Salvia, Indigo Meadow Sage is a good solution for persistently moist areas of the yard. Yet it also thrives with average watering based on local conditions.
Meadow Sages are perennials known for their ease of care and adaptability, including tolerance of heat and cold. As their group name implies, they commonly grow wild in meadows and pastures. This one does well in many kinds of soil as long as drainage is good. Give it full sun to partial shade.
The U.K.'s Royal Horticultural Society gave Indigo Meadow Sage an Award of Garden Merit. It's a well-deserved honor.
(White Meadow Sage) Whorls of pure white flowers shaped like parrot beaks rise on tall spikes from the wrinkly, basal foliage of Salvia pratensis 'Swan Lake'. The large, mid-green leaves have attractively serrated edges.
Germany's Jelitto Seeds introduced Swan Lake as part of its Salvia pratensis Ballet Series.
This long-blooming plant is a member of the Meadow Sage group, which includes S. sylvestris, S. superba and S. nemorosa. Similar to other meadow sages, it attracts honeybees and butterflies but not deer.
Meadow Sages are native to Europe and Asia. The parent of this cultivar was first recorded in the late 17th century in the Kent area of Southeast England. Salvia pratensis is now considered an endangered species in England due to its rarity.
Salvia pratensis 'Swan Lake' tolerates drought, but loves water. Average watering based on local conditions encourages best bloom. Keep it moist but not soggy in soil that contains enough organic matter for good drainage. Locate it in full sun to partial shade; morning sun and afternoon shade are optimum.
(Wild Sage) Toothed and attractively wrinkled, the gray-green, basal foliage of Wild Sage contrasts prettily with deep lavender-to-purple flowers supported by grassy green bracts. This cold-hardy sage is native to northern Africa and parts of Asia and Europe.
A tough, long-blooming perennial, Wild Sage also tolerates heat and does well in full sun to partial shade. Although a water lover, it is a drought-resistant species.
This plant is known by a number of names. Scientifically, Salvia verbenaca is a synonym. Other common names include Wild Clary, Verbena Sage and Vervain Sage.
Wild Sage isn't native to any parts of North America, but has naturalized in Alabama, California, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. It favors pastures, grasslands, woodlands, roadsides and even sandy coastal soils. In England, it is sometimes found in churchyards, which may be due to the medieval ritual of planting the seeds on graves.
Fragrant and easy to grow, Wild Sage makes a good groundcover that honeybees and butterflies enjoy. Deer leave it alone.
Fragrance as well as color attracts butterflies. However, they don't have noses. Instead, butterflies smell and taste with their antennas and feet. Here are some ways to attract them: