Salvia, Meadow Sage, Violet Sage, Woodland Sage 'Caradonna'

Salvia nemorosa

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: nemorosa (nem-or-OH-suh) (Info)
Cultivar: Caradonna
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18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:




Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



Good Fall Color

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Bay, Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Hoopa, California

Knights Landing, California

Avon, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut

Wethersfield, Connecticut

Brooksville, Florida

Cordele, Georgia

Dacula, Georgia

Cherry Valley, Illinois

Mackinaw, Illinois

Michigan City, Indiana

Olathe, Kansas

Hebron, Kentucky

Brookeville, Maryland

Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Southborough, Massachusetts

Uxbridge, Massachusetts

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan

Traverse City, Michigan

Kasota, Minnesota

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Eupora, Mississippi

Pontotoc, Mississippi

Elsberry, Missouri

Reno, Nevada

Butler, New Jersey

Cortlandt Manor, New York

Deposit, New York

Hilton, New York

Wilson, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio (2 reports)

Galena, Ohio

Geneva, Ohio

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Gold Hill, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Parkesburg, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Columbia, South Carolina

Aberdeen, South Dakota

Knoxville, Tennessee

Lewisville, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

Vernal, Utah

Essex Junction, Vermont

Newport News, Virginia

Spokane, Washington

Racine, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 20, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Flowers are smaller than those of 'May Night', but the spikes are longer and the dark/black stems add considerably to this plant's charm. Like 'May Night', it needs considerable cutting back to get multiple rounds of bloom.

Unlike 'May Night', it produces seed and may self-sow.


On Aug 25, 2011, foxyphloxy from Cortlandt Manor, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Help! Something is going on with my salvia nemorosa that is troubling me. I've never known of this species to have an enemy, but each year, holes in the leaves appear! That statement alone, makes most gardeners I know scratch their head. I've placed beer near them and in the AM the trap might only attract 1-2 slugs. I've used fungus killer (commercial), and a popular commercial brand of bug spray (don't know if I can state a brand name on line). Nothing seems to stop the holes. Ironically, the plants are still healthy, and get bigger each year. Good grief friends, does anyone know what's causing holes in the leaves?


On Jun 21, 2011, thetripscaptain from Durango, CO wrote:

This is a very nice classic salvia with purple stems and a taller, lankier stature than the S. nermorosa var. superba that I've had for some time now.


On Apr 16, 2011, corgimom from Pontotoc, MS (Zone 7b) wrote:

This plant survived a harsh southern winter and came back looking beautiful. It is already in full bloom in middle April. Beautiful, compact plant !


On Jun 2, 2010, gardeningfun from Harpersfield, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:

I bought 3 of these from Walmart last fall for $1 and they were marked Meadow Sage - Mainchant or May Night. They are not May Night. I have those and these are very thin long stems and not as bushy. They are very dark purple and tall. I had bought a Cardonna from Sabo's Nursery, in Madison, Ohio, and it is doing fantastic and already had it in the back garden last year, so when the 3 from Walmart bloomed, I knew exactly what they were, since they look identical to the one from Sabo's. I will keep buying the clearance ones and seeing what comes up! I love the variety. I just move them when they are done blooming.


On Jul 20, 2009, plutodrive from Denver, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

Very drought tolerant when planted in part shade.


On Sep 30, 2008, clareb from Missoula, MT (Zone 5a) wrote:

I adore this Salvia for its dark purple-maroon stems.
'Caradonna' seems to extend the blooming season of Salvia's in the garden (at least in Zone 5) since 'Caradonna' blooms before 'May Night' and will still be blooming when 'May Night' starts.
Deadhead plants to have repeat bloom in late summer.
I've not noticed that this plant grows more slowly than other Salvia's.


On Jun 6, 2005, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

This salvia makes dark purple flowers spikes that last for a long time and attract nectar seekers. They'd be especially pretty in a dried bouquet.

It's basically a no-care plant.

I've found that it doesn't form a clump as fast as other salvias I've grown.