Salvia × superba 'Merleau'
Common Name: sage
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to September
Bloom Description: Purplish-blue
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought

Culture

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates drought. Prefers moist, gravelly or sandy soils with good drainage. 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. Avoid wet soils in winter.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Salvia is a genus of over 900 species of annuals, biennials, herbaceous and evergreen perennials and shrubs. They are found worldwide except for hot, tropical areas.

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 superb.

‘Merleau’ is an erect, clump-forming hybrid perennial salvia that is noted for its compact, evenly branched form and its long summer bloom. In May-June, dense terminal spikes of purplish-blue flowers rise above the foliage on flowering stems to 16” tall. Flowering continues throughout summer to September. Flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies.

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

Beds and border fronts. Cottage gardens. Edging. Containers.