9 Plants That Look Like Sage

Sage (Salvia officinalis) is an herbaceous plant often used in cooking worldwide. Sage has long, oval leaves that look wrinkled and sometimes have a white, powdery substance covering them. Sage plants grow about 2 feet tall and produce small, tubular flowers in white, purple, red, or pink.

There are many sage varieties, and not all of them are edible. But many other plants look like sage in terms of their leaves, flowers, or size. Some plants that resemble sage include:

  • Brittlebush – the leaves remind one of sage
  • Broadleaf lavender – the flowers resemble sage flowers
  • Crane’s-bill – the shape of the leaves looks like sage
  • Eucalyptus – the leaves remind one of sage leaves
  • Sagebrush – the leaves and plant look like sage
  • Basil – the flowers look like sage flowers
  • Mint – the flowers have a similar structure as sage flowers
  • Rosemary – the leaves and flowers look like sage
  • Russian sage – the plant structure, leaves, and flowers look like sage

While these plants may resemble sage to some extent, they differ in other aspects. Because not all plants are edible, it is essential to know how they resemble sage and how they differ. Let’s consider why these 9 plants look like sage.

1. Brittlebush (Encelia farinose)

Brittlebush is a shrub native to North and South America that resembles sage in its leaves. Like sage, brittlebush is covered in a soft, white powdery substance. Brittlebush shrubs grow to about 5 feet tall, making them slightly taller than sage (2.5 feet).

The leaves of brittlebush also resemble sage. They are long, narrow, and slightly wrinkled, like sage leaves. The leaves are 3 inches long, about the same size as sage leaves. Despite their similarities, brittlebush flowers look different from sage flowers.

While sage plants produce small, cone-shaped flower bundles, brittlebush plants produce large, yellow flowers that resemble daisies.

2. Broadleaf Lavender (Lavandula latifolia)

Lavandula latifolia
阿橋 HQ Lavandula latifolia

Another plant that resembles sage is broadleaf lavender. While most lavender varieties have flowers that look like sage, broadleaf lavender resembles sage in terms of leaf shape. Broadleaf lavender plants grow about 1.5 feet tall, making them slightly smaller than the sage plant.

The leaves are also smaller than sage leaves. The leaves have a similar shape and color as sage leaves. Lavender leaves, like sage leaves, are slightly fuzzy and come in green to grey colors. The flowers grow in cone-shaped bundles, just like sage flowers.

The best way to tell between broadleaf lavender and sage is to brush it against the plant. Broadleaf lavender has a distinctive fragrance, while sage has a more earthy, herbaceous aroma.

3. Crane’s Bill (Geranium)

Cranes Bill
Kathy Cranes Bill

Crane’s-bill is a geranium variety with similar-looking leaves to sage. The small, narrow leaves resemble sage leaves. They even have the same wrinkled appearance and white fluff as sage leaves. Apart from the leaves, though, crane’s-bill differs from sage quite a bit.

Crane’s-bill is an ornamental plant praised for its beautiful, brightly colored flowers. Crane’s-bill plants are also much smaller than sage plants, reaching about 20 inches high and growing no more than a foot tall. Crane’s-bill plants are also a different green to sage.

Where sage is more of a muted, greyish green, crane’s-bill plants are bright green. Crane’s-bill plants are also not edible and are used only for their ornamental value.

4. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus)

Eucalyptus
m-louis .® Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus trees have leaves that resemble sage leaves. Like sage, Eucalyptus leaves are dullish green to grey. They are also long and narrow, making them look like sage leaves. While the leaves have a similar shape, they are smooth and don’t wrinkle like sage leaves.

They are also longer and thinner than sage leaves. But, of course, Eucalyptus leaves grow on trees, not shrubs. The trees are long and narrow. They have smooth stems with loose, fine bark. There are also Eucalyptus shrubs that are closer in size to sage plants.

Eucalyptus trees also produce flowers, but their flowers don’t look anything like sage flowers. Instead, eucalyptus flowers are small and yellow. They grow in tiny, rounded bunches on the tips of the stems.

Related: Are Eucalyptus Leaves Poisonous?

5. Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)

Artemisia tridentata
Andrey Zharkikh Artemisia tridentata

Sagebrush may be named similar to sage, but it is not, in fact, a type of sage. Sagebrush, also known as giant sagebrush, is native to North America and has a few things in common with sage. Sagebrush leaves are of a similar color to sage, and it has the same white powdery coating as sage.

Sagebrush plants grow between 1.5 and 9 feet tall, so some are the same size as sage plants. Sagebrush plants also smell somewhat similar to sage plants. The leaves are long and narrow, though they have a scalloped edge. Sagebrush plants also produce flowers, but their flowers don’t look like sage ones.

Sagebrush flowers are small, yellow, and grow on notches from the shrub’s stems. They grow in cone-shaped bundles like sage flowers, but the color and shape of the flowers are different. Like sage, sagebrush is an herbaceous plant with many uses in the kitchen and medicine cabinet.

6. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Ocimum basilicum
Forest and Kim Starr Ocimum basilicum

Yet another sage lookalike is basil. Basil is also an herb that is commonly used in kitchens around the world. There are many basil varieties, and they all produce flowers that look just like sage flowers. Basil flowers grow in cone-shaped bundles from white to magenta. Again, they look just like sage flowers.

Apart from their flowers, there aren’t many other similarities between sage and basil. Basil leaves are oval and bright green. They have smooth or slightly toothed edges and aren’t covered in furry hairs like sage. While basil is also an herbaceous plant, it doesn’t smell or taste anything like sage.

Basil plants are also much smaller than sage plants. So while there aren’t many similarities between sage and basil, basil flowers remind you of sage.

Related: 9 Plants That Look Like Basil

7. Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Mentha piperita
阿橋 HQ Mentha piperita

Like basil, mint has some similarities with sage. Mint also produces the same flowers as sage and is used in food preparation worldwide. Peppermint produces small, white to purple flowers that grow in cone-shaped bundles. These flowers look precisely like sage flowers.

Again, apart from the flowers, there aren’t many similarities between peppermint and sage. Peppermint leaves are darker green and brighter than sage. The plants are smaller than sage plants, and the leaves are broader and oval-shaped.

Related: 5 Plants That Look Like Mint

8. Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus)

Rosemary
Rob Hodgkins Rosemary

Rosemary is another herbaceous shrub with some similar traits to sage. Rosemary shrubs have smaller leaves than sage, but their leaves are a similar shape and color as sage. Rosemary has long, slender leaves. The leaves are dark green and smooth, though they have the same greyish appearance as sage.

Rosemary flowers also look like sage flowers. They grow on the same long, cone-shaped bundles as sage. The flowers are purple, just like sage flowers. Even though rosemary looks like sage, there still are enough differences to tell them apart.

Rosemary has a distinctive scent that differs from sage. The plant also grows up to 4 feet tall, slightly bigger than a sage bush. Finally, the leaves are also smaller and darker green than sage leaves.

9. Russian Sage (Salvia yangii)

Russian sage
Ruth Hartnup Russian sage

Although Russian sage is named after sage, it isn’t strictly a sage variety. Despite being a different plant, there are many similarities between Russian sage and regular sage. Russian sage grows 3 to 5 feet tall, slightly bigger than regular sage.

Russian sage is the same color as sage, and the leaves have the same shape and size. Russian sage, like sage, is also an edible herb with many uses in the kitchen. Russian sage produces precisely the same flowers as sage, making it difficult to distinguish between the two plants.