Salvia pratensis 'Swan Lake'
Common Name: meadow sage
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 1.50 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to September
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought

Culture

Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates drought. Prefers gravelly or sandy soils with good drainage. Plants may repeat bloom throughout the summer, but generally need regular moisture to encourage this. Remove spent flower spikes to help extend the bloom period. 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.

'Swan Lake' may be grown from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Salvia pratensis is a clump-forming salvia that features numerous, dense, upright, spike-like racemes of tiny, two-lipped, deep lavender-blue flowers which rise above dull gray-green foliage to a height of 3'. Flowers bloom in early summer and may rebloom sporadically into late summer if faded flowers are promptly cut back. Excellent fresh cut flower. The foliage of this mint family member is slightly aromatic when crushed. Attractive to bees and butterflies.

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 of the meadow.

‘Swan Lake’ is a clump-forming meadow clary seed strain that is noted for producing pure white flowers over a long summer bloom period. Wrinkled, ovate, light green basal leaves (to 6” long) form an attractive foliage mound. In late spring, upright flowering stems rise to 20-30” tall bearing terminal spikes of white flowers. If properly deadheaded, plants will continue to repeat bloom throughout the summer.

Problems

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

Garden Uses

Perennial borders, cottage gardens, butterfly gardens or wild gardens. May be used as an edging plant.