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Artemisia cana facts for kids

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Artemisia cana
Dinosaur Provincial Park - panoramio (6).jpg
Silver sagebrush in
Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta
Scientific classification
  • Artemisia columbiensis Nutt.
  • Seriphidium canum (Pursh) W.A.Weber
  • Artemisia bolanderi A.Gray, syn of subsp. bolanderi
  • Seriphidium bolanderi (A.Gray) Y.R.Ling, syn of subsp. bolanderi
  • Artemisia argilosa Beetle, syn of subsp. viscidula
  • Artemisia viscidula (Osterh.) Rydb., syn of subsp. viscidula

Artemisia cana is a species of sagebrush native to western and central North America, a member of the sunflower family. It is known by many common names, including silver sagebrush, sticky sagebrush, silver wormwood, hoary sagebrush, and dwarf sagebrush.

Artemisia cana (5034487638)
Gray foliage.


Artemisia cana, Silver sagebrush, is an aromatic shrub found in grasslands, floodplains and montane forests. Artemisia cana is native to the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and the American states of Alaska, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, North and South Dakota, Nebraska and Minnesota.


The type specimen of Artemisia cana was described informally by its collector, Meriwether Lewis (collected on October 1, 1804, in the vicinity of Centinel Creek in South Dakota, during the epic Lewis and Clark Expedition), in the following passage from Original Journals of Lewis and Clark, edited by Thwaites in 1904 :

On these hills many aromatic herbs are seen; resembling in taste, smel [ [ [sic]] ] and appearance, the sage, hysop, wormwood, southernwood and two other herbs which are strangers to me the one resembling the camphor in taste and smell, rising to the height of 2 or 3 feet; the other about the same size, has a long narrow, smo[o]th, soft leaf of an agreeable smel [ sic ] and flavor; of this last the A[n]telope is very fond; they feed on it, and perfume the hair of their foreheads and necks with it by rubing [ sic ] against it.

Artemisia cana generally reaches 50–150 centimetres (20–59 in) in height, with examples west of the Continental Divide typically being shorter than those east of the divide.

The leaves have a narrow blade shape, are evergreen, grey-green in colour, and have a distinct aroma.


Subspecies include:

  • Artemisia cana ssp. bolanderiBolander's silver sagebrush, silver sagebrush — mountain meadows and streambanks in eastern California and Oregon, and northwestern Nevada.
  • Artemisia cana subsp. canaplains silver sagebrush, Coaltown sagebrush, silver sagebrush — most of species range.
  • Artemisia cana ssp. viscidulamountain silver sagebrush, Coaltown sagebrush, silver sagebrush — sagebrush lowlands in Great Basin, Colorado Plateau, Snake River Plain.
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