Artemisia norvegica subsp. saxatilis

(Besser) H. M. Hall & Clements

Publ. Carnegie Inst. Wash. 326: 58. 1923.

Basionym: Artemisia chamissoniana var. saxatilis Besser in W. J. Hooker, Fl. Bor.-Amer. 1: 324. 1833
Synonyms: Artemisia arctica Lessing Artemisia arctica subsp. beringensis (Hultén) Hultén Artemisia arctica subsp. comata (Rydberg) Hultén Artemisia arctica subsp. ehrendorferi Korobkov Artemisia arctica var. saxatilis (Besser) Y. R. Ling Artemisia comata Artemisia norvegica var. piceetorum S. L. Welsh & Goodrich
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 19. Treatment on page 530.

Perennials, 25–40(–60) cm (not cespitose), mildly aromatic (roots often horizontal, woody). Stems 1–3, erect to ascending, green or reddish, simple, glabrous or sparsely tomentose. Leaves mostly basal (in rosettes, petiolate), bright green; blades (basal) broadly lanceolate, 5–8(–10) × 2–3(–4) cm, 1–3-pinnately lobed (apical lobes 1–7 × 1.5–3 mm; mid cauline sessile, pinnately lobed; on flowering stems, sessile, linear, entire), faces glabrous or hairy. Heads (nodding, proximalmost on peduncles to 50 mm) in racemiform arrays 10–17 × 1–2 cm. Involucres globose, (4–)5–8 × 4–10 mm. Phyllaries ovate-lanceolate to elliptic (margins dark brown to black), sparsely hairy to villous. Florets: pistillate 6–20; bisexual (30–)50–70; corollas yellow or red-tinged, 1.5–2.5(–3.5) mm, long-hairy. Cypselae ovoid-oblong (angular), ca. 2.5 mm, glabrous or villous. 2n = 18, 36.

Phenology: Flowering mid–late summer.
Habitat: Coastal, arctic, subalpine to alpine habitats, boreal forests, moist soils
Elevation: 0–3800 m



Alta., B.C., Yukon, Alaska, Calif., Colo., Mont., Utah, Wash., Wyo., e Asia (Russian Far East).


Variation within Artemisia norvegica in North America is not well understood and, for that reason, this treatment represents a conservative taxonomy with only one subspecies for the flora area. Subspecies saxatilis differs from typical A. norvegica primarily by its larger heads. European plants have involucres less than 10 mm in diameter. Chromosome number may be used to justify separation of taxa either at the level of subspecies or species. If separated as distinct species, then A. arctica is the name for North American plants. The diploid A. arctica (2n = 18) and tetraploid A. comata (2n = 36) are treated as separate species by R. Elven et al. (pers. comm.).

Selected References


Lower Taxa

Leila M. Shultz +
(Besser) H. M. Hall & Clements +
Artemisia chamissoniana var. saxatilis +
Alta. +, B.C. +, Yukon +, Alaska +, Calif. +, Colo. +, Mont. +, Utah +, Wash. +, Wyo. +  and e Asia (Russian Far East). +
0–3800 m +
Coastal, arctic, subalpine to alpine habitats, boreal forests, moist soils +
Flowering mid–late summer. +
Publ. Carnegie Inst. Wash. +
Illustrated +
Artemisia arctica +, Artemisia arctica subsp. beringensis +, Artemisia arctica subsp. comata +, Artemisia arctica subsp. ehrendorferi +, Artemisia arctica var. saxatilis +, Artemisia comata +  and Artemisia norvegica var. piceetorum +
Artemisia norvegica subsp. saxatilis +
Artemisia norvegica +
subspecies +