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May Night Salvia


Picture of May Night salvia flowers.

Picture of May Night salvia flowers.

David Beaulieu

Taxonomy of May Night Salvia:

Even experts in plant taxonomy have a difficult time with "May Night" salvia plants. You'll encounter all of the following scientific names for plants similar to the one pictured at right:

  • Salvia x superba 'May Night'
  • Salvia x superba 'Mainacht' (its name in Germany, where the plant began)
  • Salvia x sylvestris 'May Night'
  • Salvia nemorosa 'May Night'

As if all that weren't confusing enough, nemorosa is frequently misspelled as nemerosa. Nemorosa is a Latin adjective deriving from nemus, meaning "forest."

"May Night" is the cultivar name. Its common name is sometimes given as "meadow sage."

Plant Type:

May Night salvia plants are herbaceous perennials.

Characteristics of May Night Salvia:

May Night salvia was the 1997 Perennial Plant of the Year. This long-blooming plant bears small, purplish-blue flowers on spikes and reaches 18"-24" in height, with a similar spread. The lance-shaped leaves, I feel, add to the vigorous appearance of the plant.

Sun and Soil Requirements for May Night Salvia:

Grow May Night salvia flowers in a sunny area with a well-drained soil. Although drought-tolerant perennials once established, a moderate amount of water must be supplied to young plants.

Planting Zones for May Night Salvia:

May Night salvia flowers are best grown in planting zones 5-9.

Care for May Night Salvia:

If you deadhead May Night salvia flowers (i.e., remove spent blooms), the plants will flower all summer long.

Uses for May Night Salvia:

May Night salvia flowers may be used in cut-flower arrangements, and the dried leaves are fragrant enough to warrant inclusion in potpourris. Some folks eat the young, tender leaves in salads or, alternatively, include them for seasoning in cooked dishes. But most importantly, the long blooming period of May Night salvia makes it a workhorse in the perennial bed.

Wildlife Attracted to May Night Salvia:

Plants that attract butterflies, these popular perennials will also draw hummingbirds and bees to your landscaping. Fortunately, deer are not attracted to May Night salvia plants, making them useful in Bambi-plagued regions as deer-resistant perennials.
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