Salvia nemorosa

19 Jun

Salvia nemorosa flower (27/05/2011, Prague)

Salvia nemorosa flower (27/05/2011, Prague)

Position: Full sun to light shade

Soil: Moist, well drained

Flowering period: Summer to autumn

Eventual Height: 1m

Eventual Spread: 45cm

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b

Family: Lamiaceae

Salvia nemorosa is an herbaceous perennial with a clump forming habit. Its mid green leaves are narrowly oval and rough. In summer until autumn it will bear branching racemes, densely set with whorls of violet-blue flowers.

Salvia nemorosa, commonly known as Woodland Sage, is native to much of central Europe and western Asia. Sage was traditionally used by herbalists to treat maladies of the head; John Gerard noted in The Healing Herbs that is was ‘singularly good for the head and brain. It quickeneth the senses and memory, strengthens the sinews, restores health to those that have palsy, and taketh away shaky trembling of the members’.

The etymological root of the binomial name Salvia is derived from the Latin salvare, meaning to ‘save’ or ‘heal’, in reference to its historical use as a medicinal plant. Nemorosa is derived from the Latin nemus meaning ‘forest’, in reference to its woodland origins.

Salvia nemorosa (27/05/2011, Prague)
Salvia nemorosa (27/05/2011, Prague)

The Landscape architect may find Salvia nemorosa useful in prairie style planting schemes and wildlife gardens. It is also suitable for use in xeriscaping. This plant is is deer resistant.

Salvia nemorosa will tolerate many soil conditions; it will be happy in neutral or alkaline pH levels, in loam, sand or chalk based soils but will prefer an east or south facing location that can be either sheltered or exposed.

Ecologically, Salvia nemorosa will attract many pollinating insects such as butterflies and bees.

The Royal Horticultural Society have given the cultivars Salvia nemorosa ‘Amethyst’,  ‘Lubecca’, ‘Ostfriesland’ and ‘Porzellan’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

Salvia nemorosa requires little maintenance. To prolong flowering the flower spikes may be removed as soon as they start to fade.


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