- Stems: Stout, 2 to 3 feet or more in height. Very white
- 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