‘Mainacht’ Wood Sage
Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’/’May Night’
Salvia nemorosa x Salvia pratensis
1996 Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit
1997 Perennial Plant Association Perennial Plant of the Year
Synonyms of Salvia x sylvestris (11) (Updated on 1-2-23 from Plants of the World Online): Plethiosphace × sylvestris (L.) Opiz (1852), Salvia × alpestris Benth. (1833), Salvia × ambigua Čelak. (1873)(nom. illeg.), Salvia × andrzejowskii Blocki (1892), Salvia × asperula Benth. (1833), Salvia × collina Salisb. (1796), Salvia × danubialis Borbás (1900), Salvia × degenii Simonk. (1900), Salvia × elata Host (1827)(nom. illeg.), Salvia × velutina Vahl (1804), Sclarea × sylvestris (L.) Garsault (1764)(opus utique oppr.)
Salvia x sylvestris L. is the accepted scientific name of this cultivar. Both the genus and species were named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753.
As of 1-2-23 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online lists 1,012 species in the Salvia genus. It is a member of the plant family Lamiaceae with 232 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.
THERE ARE A FEW LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING.
I bought my first Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ from the discount rack at Lowe’s in Greenville, Mississippi in August 2012. The tag said Salvia nemorosa ‘May Night’. I bought my second from a local Lowe’s a year after I moved back to the family farm in mid-Missouri in 2014. This cultivar is also marketed under the names Salvia x Superba ‘May Night’, Salvia nemorosa ‘May Night’, and Salvia sylvestris ‘May Night’.
Salvia x sylvestris is a sterile intraspecific hybrid cross believed to usually be between Salvia nemorosa x Salvia pratensis. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, some cultivars listed under Salvia x sylvestris have uncertain parentage and could be cultivars of one of the parents rather than being hybrids. It is also believed that hybrids under different names are actually synonymous with S. x sylvestris (S. x alpestris, S. x asperula, S. x collina, S. x superba).
Although the common name for Salvia x sylvestris is Wood Sage, a couple of species of Germander also have the same common name, Teucrium scorodonia and Teucrium canadense. Salvia x sylvestris is also commonly called Violet Sage, Meadow Sage, Balkan Cherry, and probably others. There are MANY species of Salvia, some hybridize readily with their cousins, which allows for the overlapping of common names. It is weird how even some Latin names have the same meaning…
How about this: The specific epithet sylvestris in Latin means “of the woods or growing wild”. One of the parent’s name, S. nemorosa, in Latin means “of the woods”. The other parent, S. pratensis, means “referring to or growing in meadows”… It is interesting to note that Salvia nemorosa ‘May Night’ that it is called a Meadow Sage and when you research Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ its common name is Wood Sage. Check it out…
Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ is always among the first perennials to emerge in the spring. What a great way to begin the season!
Type: Herbaceous perennial.
Family: Lamiaceae (mint).
Zones: USDA Zones 4-8.
Size: 1 1/5’-2’ tall x 1’-1 1/2’ wide.
Flowers: deep violet-blue from May-June.
Light: Full sun.
Water: Medium to dry. Drought resistant.
Soil: average, dry to medium, well-drained
Maintenance: Low. Deadhead to encourage continual flowering and keep the plant tidy. Can cut back the summer progresses if the plants start to flop.
Uses: Perennial gardens, cottage gardens, butterfly gardens, cut flowers.
Propagation: Can propagate from softwood cuttings or division.
Salvia are among my favorite perennials and I try to buy as many different species and cultivars I can find locally. I really like plants with scented foliage. I have had this plant growing on the south side of the house for several years and it has not had any issues whatsoever. The clump has only gotten a little larger than when I first planted it. I think in 2018 I will try to take some softwood cuttings and see if I can start a few more.
Thank goodness the Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ returned. I had begun to wonder because we had some very cold days in January and the Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ had come up before the S. x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ which was always the first perennial to come up.
By April 8 the Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ was well underway for 2018.
Lingering cool temperatures, as usual, keep some of the perennials slowed down for a while.
Then on May 6, it has buds!
I really need to remove some of the Elephant Galic…
Looks like a Celosia argentea ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ wants to get in the photo.
I got busy and didn’t deadhead so it stopped flowering for a while. For some reason, after I removed most of the Elephant Garlic, it started sprawling a little…
Still not flowering much on July 4…
I think the Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ is taking a vacation.
Well, I must say 2018 was a weird summer for the Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’. Once I missed deadheading in June it pretty much stopped flowering and started sprawling out. I won’t let that happen in 2019.
Back again for our seventh season.
Buds already on April 20!
It doesn’t usually start flowering until May.
Since it took a vacation in 2018, it looks like it is making up for lost time. Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ is looking amazing!
I sometimes take a lot of photos I don’t have the words for without repeating myself…
You just have to look at the photos… 🙂
GEEZ! Now it is LOADED!
2019 was definitely a good year for the Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’.
As always, the Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ is getting off to an early start.
Looks like we have spread out a little…
I was cleaning out the Chickweed on May 15 (2020) and noticed something very odd… The Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ appears to have a kid… And it is flowering ahead of the original clump (which is behind). Well, the Chickweed had taken over and I was a little late clearing it out. It was a busy spring with the garden.
Well, this plant fizzled out. One summer is was fine, the next kind of iffy, and then it didn’t return in 2022… I need another one!
I hope you enjoyed this page as much as I have enjoyed this plant. More photos and information will be added to this page for as long as I am growing this plant as a companion. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please leave a “like” if you have visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading.