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Salvia glutinosa

Biological Category 
Species Type 
Other Herbaceous
NY Invasiveness Rank 
Not Assessed
LHPrism Status 
Tier 2 - Emerging

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  • Sticky sage is a member of the Mint family (Lamiaceae).
  • Sticky sage is an attractive member of the mint family, bearing the family’s classic zygomorphic flowers and square stems. Most conspicuous towards the end of the summer, this perennial produces yellow flowers along tall, three to four foot-long stems. (2)

Leaves are up to three inches long, oppositely arranged, with toothed margins and spear-shaped bases. Sticky glandular hairs cover both sides of the leaves— and the plant as a whole. (3)

Flowers are bilaterally symmetrical, yellow, and arranged on foot-long inflorescences. Flowering occurs early to late summer. (2)

Introduction History 
Likely introduced through intentional plantings.
Ecology and Habitat 
There is only one known population of this invasive in the Lower Hudson region. Occurring in Dover on well-drained soils comprised of glacial till, this population of plants originally infested almost 180 acres across fragmented oak-maple woodland, on rock ledges, and in a meadow. In a garden setting, the plant thrives in freely draining, rich loamy soils. (1)
Reproduction and Phenology 
Little is known about the reproductive potential of Sticky sage. The plant can spread via both vegetative growth and seed, which adheres to passing animals and can be dispersed long distances. (1) Vectors include birds, small mammals, human activity and horticultural trade. (1)
Impacts of this species 

As a relatively new invader, the ecological impacts of Sticky sage are not yet fully known. In dense infestations this Eurasian native is capable of diminishing plant diversity and changing community composition by outcompeting natives. 

Management Methods 

Biological Control
There is no biological control agent available at this time. 

Manual or Mechanical Control
Pulling / Digging Up: Seedlings and young plants have shallow roots - pulling is easy and very effective. Better established individuals have underground runners which, when fragmented can produce new plants. Populations should be monitored for at least 3-4 years after pulling to ensure the seed bank is exhausted. (3,4)

Mowing: Mowing may prevent flowering of this species, greatly reducing seed set. However, this method of management is unlikely to eradicate sticky sage as established individuals have an extensive underground system of runners, capable of producing new plants. (3)

Girdling: Not applicable

Prescribed Fire: No information available

Prescribed Grazing: No information available

Soil Tilling: Tilling is not a recommended method of control as sticky sage’s underground runners, when disturbed, can produce new plants. 

Mulching: Mulching may inhibit the germination of seedlings but is only feasible in garden settings or on small occurrences of this species. 

Solarization: No information available

Hot Foam Spray: No information available

Chemical Control
The pesticide application rates and usage herein are recommendations based on research and interviews with land managers.  When considering the use of pesticides, it is your responsibility to fully understand the laws, regulations and best practices required to apply pesticides in a responsible manner.  At times, the pest you seek to treat may not be on a pesticide label, requiring a 2ee exemption from NYSDEC.  Always thoroughly read the label of any pesticide and consult the NYSDEC or a licensed pesticide applicator with questions.

Foliar Spray: A springtime foliar spray of 1-5% glyphosate throughout the growing season is effective against this species. (4)

Cut Stump: Not applicable

Basal Bark: Not applicable

Stem Injection: Not applicable

Pre-Emergent Spray: Not applicable

Summary of Best Managment Practices 

Small populations of Sticky sage can be managed by hand pulling over the course of several years. For large, established populations and individuals, targeted use of foliar spray will achieve more rapid, effective control. 

Post treatment monitoring
Controlled populations should be revisited for at least five years to ensure exhaustion of the seed bank. 

Disposal Methods
Mowed, cut, or pulled Sticky sage can be composted so long as management occurred prior to seed production. Stems and rhizomes should be crushed, or allowed to dry out completely, before composting in order to prevent regrowth.