Big Sagebrush

Scientific Name:

Artemisia tridentata

Type:

Shrub

Habitat:

Shrublands, grasslands, and deserts

Range:

Western North America

Status:

Least Concern (IUCN Red List)

This species is

NATIVE

to the Truckee Meadows.

Identification:

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.

Fast Facts:

  • 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.

Sources:

Contributor(s):

Brianna Raggio (research & content)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

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