Salvia lyrata 'Purple Knockout' (Lyreleaf Sage 'Purple Knockout')
Lyreleaf sage loves moist bright shade, and that is where it does best, but it also adapts well to dry shade. The sunnier the exposure, the more moisture it will require. Lyreleaf sage makes a nice groundcover, with somewhat ajuga-like foliage and pretty blue flowers in the spring that can be mowed. It is a robust perennial that reseeds easily and can be controlled by removing spent blooms and not letting the plant go to seed. It does best in naturalized gardens where it can spread and be used as ground cover or living mulch.
Lyreleaf sage 'Purple Knockout' has burgundy leaves that turn to deep purple in summer, then to red in the fall. Spikes of pale lilac-blue flowers appear in spring and summer, but sometimes the flowers have only calyces and no petals. Petals or no, the flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies. It makes a great native substitute for Ajuga.
AT A GLANCE
|Water use||Low, medium|
|Sun exposure||Part shade, shade|
|Bloom color||White, blue|
|Mature height||1-2 ft|
|Mature spread||1 ft|