It gets the name Sage tree from the aromatic foliage which is typically gray-green to dark green above and lighter underneath. The leaves are palmately compound with 5-7 fingerlike leaflets and so it is often called Hemp Tree because the leaves bear strong resemblance to the leaves of the marijuana or hemp (Cannabis spp.) plant.
The flowers bloom all summer long and are followed by fleshy fruit that contains four seeds that are sometimes used as seasoning, similar to black pepper, hence the common name Monk's Pepper. But what does a monk have to do with pepper seasoning, you ask? Well, that name refers to the medieval belief that utilizing potions made from the berries helped monks maintain their vows of chastity. And so, since it was believed to quell the male libido, it got the name Chaste Tree.
It is drought and salt resistant and easy to grow in well drained soil. Makes sense why everyone had it on their property near the beach!