big sagebrush Asteraceae Artemisia
tridentata Nutt. symbol: ARTR2
Leaf: Simple, alternate (but typically clustered at each node), persistent (but some leaves are drought deciduous). Small (1/2 to 2 inches long) and narrowly wedge-shaped with a 3-lobed apex; silvery-green and pubescent on both surfaces; strong scented; sessile.
Flower: Species is monoecious; flowers very small, yellowish, and tubular; borne in small heads on long, upright spikes; some flowers perfect and some imperfect.
Fruit: Very small achenes; 4 or 5-sided or ribbed
Twig: Young twigs are slender, silvery-gray, and pubescent, becoming grayish brown as they age.
Bark: Grayish brown, shreddy, and splitting lengthwise.
Form: An upright, evergreen shrub commonly growing from several to 15 feet tall.
Looks like: bitterbrush - Stansbury cliffrose - Apache plume
Additional Range Information: Artemisia tridentata is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting big sagebrush.
External Links: USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson