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Perennial of the Week: Salvia – ‘Meadow Sage’

Well loved by butterflies and hummingbirds, spiky, colorful Salvia – also known as Sage – is deer resistant and relatively pest-free. The Salvia family includes multiple types of herbaceous or woody perennials that bloom in late spring and early summer. Varieties include Blue Sage (Salvia azurea) Meadow Sage (Salvia nemorosa), Lilac Sage (Salvia verticillata), Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii), and Common Sage (Salvia officinalis).

These adaptable plants come in dwarf and tall varieties. They love full sun, and tolerate poor soil and even drought, once they have become established. Perennial varieties of Salvia will perform well in containers, borders, rock gardens, and xeriscapes that include Coreopsis and Yucca.

In addition to the appeal of Salvia’s blossoms, gardeners plant it for its ornamental, and sometimes aromatic, foliage. Salvia officinalis, Common Sage is a favorite culinary herb.

The name Salvia comes from the Latin salvere, “to feel well and healthy,” referring to the herb’s healing properties. Salvia was used by the Chinese as a treatment for cardiovascular diseases. Other cultures used salvia as a dentifrice, while others used it to aid hormonal balance.

Today, Salvia is most commonly used to cure lack of color in American landscapes. Meadow Sage (Salvia nemorosa) is the most commonly planted perennial Sage in our area. It is a reliable addition to the garden ranging in colors from deep blue, sky blue, violet, and rose to white.

Rohsler’s grows numerous varieties of Meadow Sage that are now in bud and bloom and in their full glory. Come on by and see for yourself what this perennial stalwart has to offer!

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