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Pacific Northwest Research Station
Blue Mountains National Resources Institute

Forestry and Range Sciences Laboratory
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La Grande, OR 97850

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BMNRI Home > Publications > Weeds > Mediterranean Sage

Publications: Noxious Weeds

Explosion in Slow Motion: A talk by Jerry Asher about noxious weeds in the Blue Mountains

Click on a weed to learn about how to find it and kill it!

Common Crupina
Diffuse Knapweed
Russian Knapweed
Spotted Knapweed
Purple Loosestrife
Perennial Pepperweed
Tansy Ragwort
Medusahead Rye
Rush Skeletonweed
Yellow Starthistle
Canada Thistle
Musk Thistle
Scotch Thistle
Dalmatian Toadflax
Mediterranean Sage
St. Johnswort
Leafy Spurge
Dyers Woad

Wanted: DEAD!

Mediterranean Sage


  • Stems: Stout, 2 to 3 feet or more in height. Very white woolly.
  • Leaves: At first felt-like, lower leaves stalked, blades up to 1 foot long, broad, coarsely and sharply toothed, and lobed. Upper leaves smaller, becoming sessile above and clasping the stem. Upper surface of leaves sometimes losing felt-like covering and revealing a greenish wrinkled surface. Lower leaves stalked, upper reduced and sessile.
  • Flowers: 1/2 to 1-inch long, yellowish-white, borne in woolly clusters in a profusely branched arrangement. Flowering period is June and July.
  • Fruits: Nutlets smooth and darkly veined.

Mediterranean sage is a biennial that grows from a stout taproot. The first year's growth is a rosette of large, grayish leaves, the stems appear in the second year. It occurs on roadsides, waste areas, and rangelands. It produces large numbers of seeds, which are spread "tumbleweed" fashion in the fall. It is currently spreading rapidly across the south-central part of Oregon. Livestock generally avoid eating this plant.

Control: Most important is prevention of seed dispersal. In addition to tumbleweed motion, seeds may travel in contaminated soil, hay, agricultural equipment, livestock, wildlife, and vehicles.

  • Mechanical: Dig out individual plants in small infestations. Cutting the taproot 2 to 3 inches below the crown prevents most resprouting. Remove all plants before flowering until seed reserve is exhausted. Cultivation will control, but is rarely an option of infested sites.
  • Biological: The Mediterranean sage weevil larvae mine the root, crown, and basal leaf petioles, weakening affected plants. Heavily infested seedling and young plants die, but this hasn't stopped the spread.
  • Chemical: Difficult to penetrate the woolly leaves. Call your weed board for more information.

Report all sightings to your local Weed Board

US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station, Blue Mountains National Resources Institute
Last Modified: Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:18:43 CST

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