South Dakota Native Plant Research
Asteraceae : Artemisia frigida

Asteraceae : Artemisia frigida


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Family Name


Common Name

Prairie Sagewort, Fringed Sage


Artemisia frigida is a low, spreading sub-shrub arising from a woody crown, growing from 10 to 40 cm tall. The plant has a fragrant scent, and the stems and leaves appear whitish to gray because of the dense covering of appressed hairs. Numerous leaves are clustered toward the base and scattered along the stems. The lower leaves are petiolate with blades that are up to 12 mm long, often divided several times with the segments about 1 mm wide. The upper leaves become sessile and reduced in size. The inflorescence varies from an open panicle to a raceme of small heads, each with an involucre of bracts 2-3 mm tall. The receptacle has many long hairs between the numerous small yellow flowers. The outer florets are pistilate and the central ones are perfect. Both produce small achenes. Prairie Sagewort blooms from early summer until very late in the fall. This species is common on open plains, throughout much of South Dakota.

Additional Notes

Fringed sage leaves are fragrant and can be used as a spice. The blooms are attractive, both ornamentally and for native bees. The plants look best if old flower stems are pruned back encouraging new growth.

Horticulture Notes

Seed collection: Gather achenes in late fall or early winter.

Germination: Plant in late fall for best results but can be planted in early spring.

Vegetative propagation: Division of the rootstock, or by softwood cuttings taken in the early summer.

Light: Full sun.

Soil: Plants do best in dry, well-drained soil.

Asteraceae : Artemisia frigida