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Salvia nemorosa 'May Night'

Meadow Sage, Garden Sage

Stunning and sturdy, ‘May Night’ is popular across Europe and the United States. Spikes of purple flowers rise above a compact rosette of large, aromatic, rough-textured green leaves. With flower spikes, the mature size tops out at 18 inches tall and wide. At high elevations blooms occur through the summer, while in hot low deserts there is a spring color show. Faded flowers should be cut off promptly to sustain a long bloom season. ‘May Night’ is prized as a cut flower, both fresh and dried. Laden with nectar, the blossoms attract hummingbirds and butterflies. However, the foliage is quite resistant to browsing by deer and rabbits. Add in drought resistance, cold and heat tolerance, and adaptability to varied soils types (from sand to clay), and it is easy to understand why this plant was chosen as the 1997 Perennial Plant of the Year. In hot low deserts some afternoon shade is recommended.