Mediterranean sage [Salvia
aethiopis L.][SALAE] [CalEPPC: Need more information][CDFA list: B] Photographs
Map of Distribution
Meadow sage [Salvia virgata
Jacq.][Bayer code: none][CDFA list: A] Photographs
Map of Distribution
DESCRIPTION:Herbaceous perennial to biennial,
with flowering stems to 1 m tall.
SEEDLINGS:Exist as basal rosettes through the first year and flower the
second or subsequent years.
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PLANT:Leaves aromatic when crushed,
mostly basal, +/- finely crinkled in texture. Margins with coarse, irregular,
rounded teeth. Basal leaves larger than stem leaves.
and UNDERGROUND STRUCTURES:Taproot tough,
+/- woody, with fibrous lateral roots.
FLOWERS:June-August. In whorls on stems, with a pair of bracts below
each whorl (verticillate). Flowers strongly 2-lipped (bilabiate); upper lip
entire, arched; lower lip 3-lobed. Ovaries deeply 4-lobed.
and SEEDS:Nutlets 4 per flower, enclosed
by the persistent calyx. Nutlets ovoid, smooth, brown.
PROPAGATION/PHENOLOGY:Reproduces by seed.
FAVORING/DISCOURAGING SURVIVAL:Prevent seed
dispersal by removing plants before flowering. Plants generally do not produce
new basal rosettes when cut 5-7 cm (2-3 inches) below the crown.
SPECIES:Mature Mediterranean and
meadow sages do not resemble any native sages and are unlikely to be
confused with them.
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sage is an aggressive colonizer of highly disturbed areas and may outcompete
desirable rangeland and native species. It mainly occurs in rangeland areas
of Northern California and is a CDFA class B noxious weed. Little is known
about Meadow sage. It has been detected in Nevada, Siskiyous, and San Bernadino
counties and is a CDFA class A noxious weed. Both species reproduce by seed
and spread in a tumbleweed fashion. Little is known about the seedbank longevity
of either species, and infested sites should be monitored for several years
for new recruitment. Because of the tumbleweed dispersal method, skeletons
are often caught on fences, and may be a good indicator of potential new infestations.
Both species are apparently non-palatable to livestock. Ranchers should avoid
overgrazing infested areas and spot treat new infestations to prevent spread.
Revegetation of highly disturbed areas may prevent invasion by these species.
Mechanical: Tillage is an
effective control strategy for rosettes and bolting plants. However, tillage
is generally not an option in areas these plants infest. Small infestations
may be controlled by hand digging or severing the root approximately three
inches below the soil surface when the plants are beginning to bolt. Cutting
at a shallower depth will generally result in crown resprouting. Mowing has
not been an effective control strategy due to the prostrate growth habit of
Biological: The Mediterranean
sage root crown weevil (Phrydiuchus tau) was introduced to Oregon in 1971
and is now established at locations at several locations in California, Colorado,
Idaho, and Oregon. This weevil feeds on the roots and crown during its larval
stage and on the foliage and flowering shoots during its adult stage. Plants
are greatly weakened or die under heavy feeding. The adult weevil is easily
identified, by the characteristic white "T" on the back. The insect
is readily available for distribution, or may be collected at previously established
locations. The adults may be collected with a sweep net in late spring. They
should be transferred to new sites in a cool, dry, storage carton with ample
food. Successful establishment may require about 150 adult weevils. Establishment
of the weevil is favored on warm, dry, southern exposed slopes. This weevil
has been successful in some areas, but may be ineffective in others. Utilizing
the weevil with good perennial grass management has shown the most success.
The weevil will also feed on meadow sage, but with little effect on the plants.
Chemical: There is little
information regarding chemical control of either Mediterranean sage or meadow
sage. Dicamba and 2,4-D have been reported to control Mediterranean sage.
Plants should be treated after bolting but before seed are produced. The hairy
nature of the leaf surface may reduce herbicide efficacy and a surfactant
should be included.
Integrated management strategies:
There is no information regarding the effect of herbicide applications on
the Mediterranean sage root crown weevil. The weevil is highly active during
the plants rapid growth phase, which is concurrent with the best herbicide
application time. If there is concern, insects may be collected and transferred
to other infestations that will not be sprayed.