Lanceleaf salvia, also called Rocky Mountain sage, grows to
about 2 feet tall, attaining a multi-stemmed, bushy stature.
The square stems branch opposite each other at an upward angle.
The narrow, lance-shaped leaves up to 2 inches long are also
arranged opposite each other on short stems. Asymmetrical,
blue flowers grow on spikes in whorls of two or three.
Distribution and habitat
These plants are found in thewestern two-thirds of Texas.
Theygrow in dry fields, gravel-clayflats, slopes and rocky
soils where there is little competition.
Regions: 4, 5,
The toxic agent is unknown. Reported cases of poisonings in
the United States are limited to cattle and horses that consumed
contaminated hay. Experimental feeding trials have shown that
sheep are also susceptible. Although the plant has been proven
toxic, it is not known how much of the plant material must
be eaten to cause toxicity. In one confirmed case, alfalfa
hay contained about 10 percent lanceleaf salvia.
Salvia poisoning is not common, and only general clinical
signs are reported:
- Muscular weakness
Animals that die after consuming contaminated
hay show post-mortem evidence of gastrointestinal inflammation
and liver necrosis.
Integrated management strategies
There are no documented reports of this plant causing poisoning
under range or pasture conditions, although it has been susected.
Nevertheless, it has been proven toxic when consumed as a
contaminant in hay and should therefore be considered potentially
toxic to grazing animals. Look for this plant in hay as well
as in hay fields before mowing.