Shrublands, grasslands, and deserts
Western North America
Least Concern (IUCN Red List)
This species is
to the Truckee Meadows.
Big sagebrush are woody shrubs that grow between 1.5 to 9 feet tall, depending on location. Their leaves are a silvery blue-grey with three lobes on the end of each leaf. Big sagebrush are aromatic thanks to the oils the plants produce. These shrubs prefer dry and rocky soils with full sun. Sagebrush is very drought tolerant, meaning they have adapted to survive long periods with very little water.
Big sagebrush is Nevada’s state flower.
Sagebrush is sometimes referred to as "Cowboy Cologne" as cowboys would come back at the end of the day smelling of the plant's characteristic odor. Sage grouses depend exclusively on big sagebrush for both shelter and food.
Despite their name, big sagebrushes have no relation to sage. Instead, they are part of the sunflower family.
Big sagebrush are "monoecious" (latin for one house), meaning both male and female reproductive structures exist on one plant.
In the Paiute language, big sagebrush is called Baba Sawabe.
USDA PLANTS Database, Big Sagebrush, 2021, https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=artr2
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Artemisia tridentata, 2009, https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=artr2
Pyramid Lake, The Paiute Language, 2021, http://www.numuinc.com/home/the-tribe/the-paiute-language/
IUCN Red List, Artemisia tridentata, 2020, https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/156820993/156820995
Image: Kenraiz, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Artemisia_tridentata_kz14.jpg, license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en, cropped from original.
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