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Artemisia tridentata - Nutt.                
                 
Common Name Sage Brush, Big sagebrush, Bonneville big sagebrush, Basin big sagebrush, Mountain big sagebrush, Wy
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
Synonyms Seriphidium tridentatum. (Nutt.)W.A.Weber.
Known Hazards Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people[222].
Habitats Dry plains and hills on calcareous soils[60]. Found on slightly acid and on alkaline soils[164].
Range Western N. America - British Columbia to California and Mexico, east to Nebraska.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of shrub
Artemisia tridentata is an evergreen Shrub growing to 2.5 m (8ft 2in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8 and is frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in October, and the seeds ripen from Oct to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.

USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Artemisia tridentata Sage Brush, Big sagebrush, Bonneville big sagebrush, Basin big sagebrush, Mountain big sagebrush, Wy


"Our State Flowers: The Floral Emblems Chosen by the Commonwealths", National Geographic Magazine, XXXI (June 1917), p. 503.
Artemisia tridentata Sage Brush, Big sagebrush, Bonneville big sagebrush, Basin big sagebrush, Mountain big sagebrush, Wy
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Stan_Shebs
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Tea.

Leaves - cooked[61]. The subspecies A. tridentata vaseyana has a pleasant mint-like aroma whilst some other subspecies are very bitter and pungent[164]. The leaves are used as a condiment and to make a tea[257]. Seed - raw or cooked. Oily[46, 61]. It can be roasted then ground into a powder and mixed with water or eaten raw[84, 106, 161, 257]. The seed is very small and fiddly to use[K].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antirheumatic;  Antiseptic;  Digestive;  Disinfectant;  Febrifuge;  Miscellany;  Ophthalmic;  Poultice;  Sedative;  Skin.

Sage brush was widely employed by many native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a wide range of disorders[257]. It is little used in modern herbalism, though it certainly merits further investigation[K]. The plant is antirheumatic, antiseptic, digestive, disinfectant, febrifuge, ophthalmic, poultice and sedative[46, 61, 99, 257]. A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of digestive disorders and sore throats[216, 257]. An infusion of the fresh or dried leaves is used to treat pneumonia, bad colds with coughing and bronchitis[257]. It is used both internally and externally in the treatment of rheumatism[257]. The crushed plant is used as a liniment on cuts, sores etc whilst a decoction of the leaves is used as an antiseptic wash for cuts, wounds and sores[257]. A poultice of the steeped leaves is applied to sore eyes[257]. The plant is burnt in the house in order to disinfect it[257].
Other Uses
Basketry;  Disinfectant;  Dye;  Fibre;  Friction sticks;  Fuel;  Hair;  Miscellany;  Paper;  Repellent;  Stuffing;  Tinder.

An infusion of the leaves is used as a hair rinse, it treats dandruff and falling hair[84, 106, 168]. An infusion of the plant repels insects[99], it is also disinfectant and so is used for washing walls, floors etc[99]. A yellow to gold dye is obtained from the leaves, buds and stems combined[168]. The fibrous bark is used for weaving mats, baskets, cloth etc., or as a stuffing material in pillows etc and as an insulation in shoes to keep the feet warm[99, 257]. A fibre obtained from the inner bark is used for making paper[189]. The fibres are about 1.3mm long[189]. The stems are harvested in late summer, the leaves removed and the stems steamed until the fibre can be stripped off. The fibre is then cooked for two hours with lye before being ball milled for 4 hours. The resulting paper is a light tan/gold colour[189]. A bunch of the leafy stems can be tied together and used as a broom[257]. The shredded bark is a fine tinder for starting fires[99, 257]. The stems make good friction sticks for making fires[257]. The seeds are used during celebrations because, when thrown into a fire, they explode like crackers[257]. Wood - hard, dense[229]. It burns rapidly and well, even when green, and has a pleasant aromatic smell[212].
Cultivation details                                         
Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil that is not too rich[1, 11]. Requires a lime-free soil[60]. There are a number of sub-species growing in different habitats from deep fertile soils to poor shallow ones[164]. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil[245]. Established plants are very drought tolerant[200]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[200]. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun[K]. The plant is very aromatic, especially after rain[11, 182]. The pollen of this species is one of the main causes of hayfever in N. America[212]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse in a very free-draining soil, but making sure that the compost does not dry out. The sub-species A. tridentata vaseyana germinates better if given a cool stratification for 30 - 50 days. Other sub-species germinate in 1 - 2 weeks in a warm greenhouse[164]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting them out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Very slow to root[11] Division in spring or autumn. Layering[164].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
Nutt.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
1160200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[60]Hitchcock. C. L. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest.
A standard flora for Western N. America with lots of information on habitat etc. Five large volumes, it is not for the casual reader.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[84]Coyle. J. and Roberts. N. C. A Field Guide to the Common and Interesting Plants of Baja California.
A very readable pocket flora with good illustrations, it gives quite a few plant uses.
[99]Turner. N. J. Plants in British Columbian Indian Technology.
Excellent and readable guide.
[106]Coon. N. The Dictionary of Useful Plants.
Interesting reading but short on detail.
[161]Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237.
A comprehensive but very terse guide. Not for the casual reader.
[164]Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 4.
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. A good article on Yuccas, one on Sagebrush (Artemesia spp) and another on Chaerophyllum bulbosum.
[168]Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants.
A very good and readable book on dyeing.
[182]Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos.
Contains a wide range of plants with a brief description, mainly of their ornamental value but also usually of cultivation details and varieties.
[189]Bell. L. A. Plant Fibres for Papermaking.
A good practical section on how to make paper on a small scale plus details of about 75 species (quite a few of them tropical) that can be used.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[212]Craighead. J., Craighead. F. and Davis. R. A Field Guide to Rocky Mountain Wildflowers
Excellent little pocket guide to the area, covering 590 species and often giving details of their uses.
[216]Whiting. A. F. Ethnobotany of the Hopi
A very good guide the the plant uses of the N. American Hopi Indians.
[229]Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History.
A very good concise guide. Gives habitats, good descriptions, maps showing distribution and a few of the uses. It also includes the many shrubs that occasionally reach tree proportions.
[233]Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.
[245]Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World.
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
[257]Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
Anders Tue Oct 31 2006
The proper hardiness for this plant is USDA zone 4. it is not frost tender. Grows througout the Great Basin and across the high plains.
Elizabeth H.
L. Shultz Sun Sep 23 2007

Flora of North America see taxonomy of Artemisia under "Asteraceae"

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Subject : Artemisia tridentata  
             

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