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Artemisia frigida (Prairie sagewort)
Weyand, Phyllis

Artemisia frigida

Artemisia frigida Willd.

Prairie Sagewort, Prairie Sagebrush, Fringed Sage, Pasture Sage

Asteraceae (Aster Family)


USDA Symbol: ARFR4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

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.

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


From the Image Gallery

5 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Subshrub
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Size Notes: Up to about 18 inches tall.
Leaf: Gray-Green
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


USA: AK , AZ , CO , CT , IA , ID , IL , KS , MA , MI , MN , MO , MT , ND , NE , NJ , NM , NV , NY , PA , SD , TX , UT , VT , WA , WI , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , ON , QC , SK , YT
Native Distribution: AK to e. WA & n. AZ, e. to WI & TX
Native Habitat: Open, high plains; alpine areas

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Poor, dry soil.
Conditions 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.


Use Wildlife: Important winter feed for elk and deer.
Use Food: Edible herb, aromatic
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes


Description: Increase by division of mature plants, by rhizome cuttings or by layering. Seeds germinate well.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1990 VOL. 7, NO.4 - Research Update, Wild-Collecting Endangers Natives, Director's Report, Maryland ...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Artemisia frigida in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Artemisia frigida in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Artemisia frigida


Record Modified: 2022-11-22
Research By: TWC Staff

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