Common Name: sage
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Deep violet
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Air Pollution
Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Prefers moist, gravelly or sandy soils with good drainage, but tolerates drought. Plants may repeat bloom throughout the summer, but need regular moisture to encourage this. Remove spent flower spikes to help extend the bloom period. Plants may become somewhat floppy and open up as the summer progresses, particularly in humid climates. If plants flop or otherwise depreciate in summer to the point where they look unsightly, consider cutting them back to the basal foliage. In any event, cut plants back after flowering has concluded.
Salvia nemerosa, commonly known as woodland sage, violet sage or salvia, is an erect, many-branched, woody-based, clump-forming perennial that typically grows to 18-36” tall and to 24” wide. It is native to Europe and west-central Asia. Lavender to violet blue flowers (1/2” long) subtended by tiny reddish-purple bracts bloom from June to September in dense, terminal, upright, spike-like, racemes rising well above the foliage. Flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies. Notched, wrinkled, ovate-lanceolate to oblong, medium green to gray-green leaves (to 4” long) are aromatic when bruised.
Genus name comes from the Latin word salveo meaning to save or heal in reference to the purported medically curative properties attributed to some plants in the genus.
Specific epithet means growing in groves or woods.
‘Marcus’ is a dwarf clump-forming perennial salvia with deep violet flowers that typically grows to only 8-10” tall. This cultivar was discovered growing as a naturally occurring mutation of S. nemerosa ‘Osfriesland’ in Germany in 1998. Erect, deep violet flower spikes appear in a lengthy summer bloom. Lance-shaped, green leaves (to 3” long). U.S. Plant Patent PP13,322 issued December 3, 2002. It should be noted that ‘Marcus’ was patented under the cultivar name of ‘Haeumanarc’, but The Royal Horticultural Society currently lists it as ‘Marcus’ with no mention of ‘Haeumanarc’.
No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to powdery mildew, leaf spot and rust. Aphids, white fly and scale are occasional insect pests.
Perennial borders, cottage gardens, butterfly gardens, wild gardens or along paths. Plant in groups for interesting accent.