Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’

purple wood sage

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Distinctive dark purple spikes clothed in vibrant violet-purple flowers soar above gray-green foliage in early summer on this unique salvia variety. With care – deadheading and regular watering – it will provide an encore performance in late summer. Note: Salvia nemorosa cultivars, along with some of its hybrid offspring such as Salvia x sylvestris, can sometimes be mislabeled in the nursery trade so be sure to purchase from a nursery you trust.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: clumping perennial

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 2 ft. 0 in. (0.61 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 2 ft. 0 in. (0.61 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 9

Flower Color: violet

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: regular to occasional watering

Seasonal Interest: vibrant flowers in early summer with a second flush later that season

Wildlife Associations: bees, butterflies

Resistant to: rabbits, deer

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: chartreuse, cream, pink, silver, yellow

Great Color Partners: burgundy, purple, violet

Culture Notes
Purple wood sage flowers best in full sun and grows most vigorously in a rich, well-draining soil, but it will tolerate clay and sandy sites as long as there is good drainage. Do not plant in water-logged locations. Once this evergreen perennial is established it will tolerate short periods of drought; however, regular to occasional watering during dry weather as well as cutting back the first flowering stalks once they are done will promote a second flush of blossoms later in the summer.
Geek Notes
Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna' was discovered as a seedling of Salvia 'Wesuve' by Beate Zillmer at Zillmer Pflanzen (nursery) in Uchte, Germany. In 2000 it was awarded the Outstanding New Perennial by the International Hardy Plant Union.