Mediterranean sage, African sage
- 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