black sage Lamiaceae Salvia
mellifera Greene symbol: SAME3
Leaf: Opposite, simple, evergreen, narrowly elliptical to lanceolate in shape, to 3 inches in length; dark green (becoming very dark during droughts) and wrinkled above, paler and tomentose below; aromatic.
Flower: Species is monoecious; pale purple to white, in whorls borne on a 12 inch spike; individual flowers to 1/2 inch with long pistils and stamens extending beyond the pea-like coralla; very aromatic; appearing mid-summer.
Fruit: Small shiny nutlets borne in husks.
Twig: Green-brown to purple-brown and pale-tomentose; stems are square.
Form: A rounded straggling shrub to seven feet tall with arching branches that root where they touch the ground.
Looks like: white sage - fragrant sage - purple sage - rockrose
Additional Range Information: Salvia mellifera is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting black sage.
External Links: USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654