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Artemisia pycnocephala (Beach sagebrush)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Artemisia pycnocephala

Artemisia pycnocephala (Less.) DC.

Beach Sagebrush, Beach Wormwood, Sand Hill Sage

Asteraceae (Aster Family)


USDA Symbol: arpy3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A low, dense, mounding perennial with delicate, silky-gray, finely divided foliage. The plant grows 1-2 ft. high with a 2-3 ft. spread.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Subshrub
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Margin: Entire
Size Notes: Height 1-2 feet, spread to 2 feet.
Leaf: Silver-grayish.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug


Native Distribution: Coastal areas of n. CA
Native Habitat: Sandy beaches & dunes

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: A good accent or quick fill plant. Looks best the first couple years, then becomes a fire hazard if it is out of ocean spray. Pollen is a cause of hayfever.


Fragrant Foliage: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Provides Nesting Materials/Structure for Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Propagation is from seed or division of the root crown.
Seed Treatment: No treatment.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: More compact and attractive if flower stems are removed as they appear.

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:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2007-12-23
Research By: TWC Staff

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