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Salvia nemorosa

This week we are highlighting not one but four(!) beautiful types of Salvia nemorosa growing here at Clearwater Color Nursery. Native to regions of Eastern Europe all the way to Central Asia, S. nemorosa performs best in Climate Zones 2-10 and 14-24 (The New Sunset Western Garden Book). It prefers full sun and moderate watering (though regular watering will encourage repeat blooming throughout the summer months). We will get into specifics of each type below, but all types of this species are distinguishable for a tight foliage rosette and branching, upright flower stems. Wrinkled leaves come in varying shades of soft, mossy green and are lance-shaped. Mature plants reach 1.5 to 3 ft in height and 2 to 3 feet in width. The lovely flowers attract beneficial pollinators of all sorts – the bees visit them often!

‘May Night’ is known for its deep violet-blue blooms on 2 ft stems. Full, aromatic leaves are about 3 inches long. It is a popular choice for cut flowers, dried flower arrangements, and as an addition to cottage style and pollinator gardens.

‘Snow Hills’ displays a more compact growth habit than other Salvia nemorosas. Profuse white blooms top out the stems at 20 inches high. It is a stunning addition to garden borders and is also a popular choice for mass planting.

‘Caradonna Pink’ is one of the most popular choices for landscaping and cut flowers for its stunning flower-stem color contrast. Numerous rosy pink blooms grow from dark purple stems that reach 20 inches in height. Foliage is coarse and deeper green in color.

‘East Friesland’ is another S. nemorosa with vibrant violet-blue blooms. Stems are a lovely, muted purple color and reach about 20 inches in height. Greenish grey foliage contrasts the brightly colored flowers, making it an excellent selection for cut flowers and mass planting. Drought tolerance makes it an ideal choice for rock gardens and other low-water landscaping projects.


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