Mediterranean sage
Salvia aethiopis L.


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.

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EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Salvia
Subject: Salvia aethiopis L.

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
African sage


Plants - Forbs/Herbs