CWMA

PO Box 419

Hotchkiss, CO 81419

 

970-361-8262

fax: 720-880-3051


Email:contact@cwma.org

 

 

Mediterranean sage

Salvia aethiopis

 

Keys to Identification

  • Sometimes sold as Ethiopian Sage in local nurseries
  • Mediterranean Sage is an aggressive ornamental plant
  • Has invaded over 400 acres of rangeland in northern Boulder County
  • Large wooly leaves that are strongly aromatic
  • Mediterranean Sage produces a profusion of showy, white flowers
  • This weed usually becomes established in sparsely vegetated land, but will readily invade rangelands in good condition

This information courtesy of the Colorado Natural Areas Program

 

Family: Mint (Lamiaceae)

 

Other Names: African sage

 

USDA Code: SAAE

 

Legal Status: Colorado Noxious Weed List A

 

 

Identification

Lifecycle: Biennial or short-lived perennial

 

Growth form: Forb

 

Flower: Flowers are two-lipped, yellowish-white and born in a candelabra-like inflorescence. June-Aug.

 

Seeds/Fruit: Each flower develops four nutlets that are smooth with dark veins.

 

Leaves: First-year rosette leaves are large, grayish, and woolly. Lower stem leaves have stalks are lobed, with coarsely-toothed blades 0.3-1 foot long. Upper stem leaves are smaller and clasp the stem.

 

Stems: Mature plants are 2-3 ft tall and highly branched above.

 

Roots: No information available.

 

Seedling: No information available.

 

 

Similar Species

Exotics: Meadow sage (S. pratensis) resembles Mediterranean sage, but usually has blue flowers, and is more coarsely hairy.

 

Natives: No information available.

 

 

Impacts

Agricultural: It is unpalatable to grazing animals and it reduces the amount of forage available for livestock.

 

Ecological: Mediterranean sage spreads rapidly into disturbed pasture, rangeland, meadows, and other open areas.

 

 

Habitat and Distribution

General requirements: Mediterranean sage usually invades disturbed pasture, rangeland, meadows, riparian areas, along roadsides, and other open areas. It prefers well-drained soils and dry conditions. In the western states, Mediterranean sage grows in sagebrush steppe and ponderosa pine zones.

 

Distribution: A few locations in Colorado including Boulder and Garfield counties. It is also found in Pacific coastal states.

 

Historical: Mediterranean sage is a native of the Mediterranean and northern Africa.

 

 

Biology/Ecology

Life cycle: Mediterranean sage is a biennial that produces a large rosette the first year. During the second year, the plant bolts, producing multi-branched stems with white to blue-green, woolly, felt-like leaves. Plants flower from June to August. During the hottest part of the summer, the plant becomes dormant (Roché and Wilson 1999).

 

Mode of reproduction: Seed.

 

Seed production: A single plant may produce thousands of seeds.

 

Dispersal: Seeds are spread easily because the mature plant forms a tumbleweed (Whitson et al. 1996).

 

References

Calweed Database. 1997. California Noxious Weed Control Projects Inventory. Natural Resource Projects Inventory, Information Center for the Environment, University of California, Davis. Available: http://endeavor.des.ucdavis.edu/weeds/

 

Roché, C.T. and L.M. Wilson. 1999. Mediterranean sage. In: R.L. Sheley and J.K. Petroff (eds.). Biology and

management of noxious rangeland weeds. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis. pg. 261-270.

 

Whitson, T.D.(ed.), L.C. Burrill, S.A. Dewey, D.W. Cudney, B.E. Nelson, R.D. Lee, R. Parker. 1996. Mediterranean sage. Weeds of the West. Western Society of Weed Science, in cooperation with the Western United States Land Grant Universities Cooperative Extension Services, Newark CA. pg. 368.

 

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