- Salvia aethiopis is a biennial plant with square stems reaching up to 3 ft. (0.9 m) tall.
- Fine, woolly hairs cover the stems, new leaves and leaf undersides. Mature plants become less hairy and develop prominent venation on the leaves. Rosette leaves are grayish-green, petiolate and 4-12 in. (10.2-30.5 cm) long. Rosettes can be 1-4 ft. (0.3-1.2 m) in diameter. The stem leaves are opposite, smaller than the rosette leaves and aromatic (sage-like) when crushed. Leaves become smaller toward the apex of the stem.
- Flowering stems are highly branched and develop in June to August. The flowers are yellow to whitish and bilabiate (two lipped corolla).
- Four smooth nutlets with dark veins develop from each flower. Mature plants break off and become tumbleweeds, easily spreading as many as 100,000 seeds each.
- Ecological Threat
- S. aethiopis is typically found in degraded sagebrush communities, disturbed sites, fields, rangelands, roadsides and some agronomic crops. Mediterranean sage is a state-listed noxious weed in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. The plant is native to Europe and may have been introduced in contaminated alfalfa seed.
Oregon Department of Agriculture Plant Programs, Noxious Weed Control 
Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board 
University of California, Jepson Flora Project 
California Invasive Plant Council 
USDA NRCS PLANTS 
USDA ARS GRIN 
Images from Bugwood.org