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Mediterranean sage

Mediterranean sage

Mediterranean sage

(Salvia aethiopis)

Priority: -  Prevent

Tags: Terrestrial

Identification and Reproduction

Identification:

  • Mediterranean sage, also known as African sage, is a perennial plant that can reach 90 cm tall. 
  • Stems are square and covered in fine wooly hairs.  
  • Rosette leaves are larger than stem leaves and are greyish-green. Rosettes can reach a diameter of 1.2 m wide.

  

  • Flowering stems are very branched and do not develop until June-August.
  • Leaves will decrease in size moving up the stem. They are aromatic (sage-like) when crushed.  
  • Flowers are yellow to white and bilabiate. 

Reproduction: 

  • Reproduces solely by seed. 
  • A single plant can produce up to 100,000 seeds in a growing season. 
  • Stalks will break up and blow as tumbleweeds, further dispersing seeds. 

Habitat & Ecology

  • Commonly overtaking disturbed sites, fields, rangelands and more recently agronomic crop sites. 
  • Has yet to be observed in Canada. 

Impacts

Social: 

  • This plant is unpalatable to livestock and reduces foraging opportunities for livestock. 
  • Contaminates alfalfa seed crops. 

Ecological: 

  • Reduces native plant biodiversity. 

Management

Prevention is a high priority for this species. 

  • Maintain good ground cover to slow the spread and prevent invasive establishment. 
  • Learn to identify Mediterranean sage. 
  • Report this plant if you think you have seen it. 

Resources

For more information check out the Invasive Species Extension on Salvia aethiopis, Mediterranean Sage

Header photo (Javier Pelayo).