Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Find     
Site Image
mediterranean sage (Salvia aethiopis)
ODA rating: B
 
USDA Symbol: SAAE
Oregon mediterranean sage distribution
 
Click on image to view larger photo
 
Image courtesy of Eric Coombs, Oregon Department of Agriculture
 
Image courtesy of Dan Sharratt, Oregon Department of Agriculture
 

Image courtesy of Eric Coombs Oregon Department of Agriculture
 
If images are downloaded and used from the ODA web site please be sure to credit the photographer.
 
Description
Biennial; blooms June to July. Grows two  to three  feet tall. Large grayish rosette with stout taproot. Flowers one half  to one inch long, yellowish-white, forming woolly clusters in profusely-branched arrangement. Reproduces from prolific seed source.  The leaves of the plant have a pungent aroma when crushed.
 
Impacts
Though not as dominant in range as many other weed species, Mediterranean sage is still a troublesome pest in pastures and rangelands of eastern Oregon, predominantly in the southern central part of Oregon, where it replaces grasses when moisture is sparse. It reduces crop quality and yield. Biocontrol has aided in limiting the rapid spread of the plant. This weed can be found in rangeland, alfalfa, and wheat, particularly on dry, south-facing slopes.
 
Introduction
Mediterranean sage is a native of southern and southeastern Europe and was introduced in the United States as an alfalfa seed contaminate.
 
Distribution in Oregon
The first record of this plant in Oregon is 1921 in Wheeler County.

Biological controls
One biological control agent, a root weevil, has been approved for release and is successfully established in Oregon.
 
Phrydiuchus tau
Phrydiuchus spilmani