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Prairie Sagebrush Artemisia frigida


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Prairie Sagebrush
© Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

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Alternate name: Prairie Sagewort, Fringed Sage

Family: Asteraceae, Aster view all from this family

Description This is a low-spreading, semi-evergreen shrub, with numerous stems arising from a woody base to 18 in. The deeply-divided, soft, woolly, gray-green leaves are fine-textured (almost hair-like) and aromatic. The pale yellow flowers and the fruit are rather inconspicuous.

Habitat Open, high plains; alpine areas.

Range Alaska to e. Washington and n. Arizona, east to Wisconsin and Texas.

Discussion Drought tolerant. A good soil stabilizer and ground cover. Important winter feed for Elk, Pronghorn, and deer. Pollen is a cause of hay fever.

Comments Shear flower stems off to basal foliage to induce new growth and keep the plant in its prime. Drought tolerant. A good soil stabilizer and ground cover. Considered a weed in rangelands because it increases rapidly in heavily grazed areas. Pollen is a cause of hayfever.

Exposure Preference Sun to partial sun.

Native Distribution Alaska to e. Washington & n. Arizona, e. to Wisconsin & Texas

Site Preference Open, high plains; alpine areas

Soil Preference Poor, dry soil.

Wildlife Value Important winter feed for elk and deer.