South Dakota Native Plant Research
Asteraceae : Artemisia cana

Asteraceae : Artemisia cana


Download Mature plant (2.1 MB)

Download Stems (5.6 MB)

Download Leaves (742 KB)

Download Inflorescence (4.1 MB)

Download Flower Heads (753 KB)

Family Name


Common Name

Dwarf Sagebrush, Silver Sagebrush

Native American Name

Lakota: pȟeží ȟóta tȟotȟó


Artemisia cana is perennial aromatic shrub mostly growing to < 1 m tall, but occasionally taller. The older stems become twisted with exfoliating bark and the younger stems are greenish, covered with grayish hairs. The lanceolate leaves are narrow, ranging from 2-9 cm in length, not often more than 5 mm wide, have a silvery gray pubescence and are retained year-round. The inflorescence is a series of spike-like, leafy panicles of small heads. The involucre is 4-5 mm long and has a naked receptacle. The several tiny disk flowers are all perfect producing small dark achenes. Silver sagebrush bloom in August and September and can be found in both east and west river South Dakota.

Additional Notes

Silver sagebrush is an attractive small shrub and attracts several native bee species. It requires some care to remove dead branches to maintain an actively growing specimen.

Horticulture Notes

Seed Collection: Seeds mature in late fall and are easily harvested when achenes begin to drop.

Seed germination: Seeds can be planted outside in the fall or soaked for 24 hours in water before planting in the spring. Seed viability varies greatly from sight to sight.

Vegetative propagation: Difficult to propagate from cuttings and usually grown from seed.

Light: Full sun.

Soil: Rocky, well drained soils.

Water: Do best if allowed to dry between watering.

Asteraceae : Artemisia cana