Salvia nemorosa 'Sensation Rose'
Common Name: sage 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Lavender-pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Fragrant
Attracts: Butterflies
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.

Plants of this cultivar do not set viable seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

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.

‘Sensation Rose’ is a compact cultivar that typically grows in an erect but slightly spreading clump to 12" tall and to 14" wide. It is noted for its compact form, free branching habit, long bloom period and lavender-pink flowers. Flowers appear in dense terminal spikes that rise above the foliage over a long May to August bloom period. U.S. Plant Patent PP18,230 was issued on November 20, 2007.


No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to powdery mildew, leaf spot and rust. Aphids, white fly and scale are occasional insect pests.

Garden Uses

Perennial borders, cottage gardens, butterfly gardens, wild gardens or along paths. Plant in groups for interesting accent.

Compact plant for containers.