Artemisia tridentata subsp. tridentata

Common names: Great Basin sagebrush big sage
Synonyms: Artemisia angustifolia (A. Gray) Rydberg Artemisia tridentata subsp. xericensis
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 19. Treatment on page 516. Mentioned on page 518.

Shrubs, 100–200(–300) cm. Vegetative branches nearly equaling flowering branches. Leaves cuneate or lanceolate, 0.5–1.2(–2.5) × 0.2–0.3(–0.6) cm, 3-lobed (lobes to 1/3 lengths of blades, rounded). Heads in paniculiform arrays 5–15(–20) × (1.5–)5–6 cm. Involucres 1.5–2.5 × 1–2 mm. Florets 4–6. Cypselae glabrous. 2n = 18, 36.

Phenology: Flowering mid summer–late fall.
Habitat: Deep, well-drained (usually sandy) soils in valley bottoms, lower montane slopes, along drainages
Elevation: 1300–2200 m



Alta., B.C., Ariz., Calif., Colo., Idaho, Mont., Nev., N.Mex., Oreg., Utah, Wash., Wyo.


Subspecies tridentata is the common sagebrush of deep, well-drained soils in the Great Basin of western North America, where it is often the dominant shrub of valleys and open grasslands. On drier sites and on high plateaus, it is replaced by subsp. wyomingensis, a taxon that appears to be increasing with prolonged droughts and disturbance from grazing. In dry valley bottoms of the Great Basin, subsp. tridentata is conspicuous by its great height and wide arrays of heads along roadways, fencerows, and other areas where moisture is more readily available through runoff or reduced competition.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

Leila M. Shultz +
Nuttall +
Tridentatae +
Great Basin sagebrush +  and big sage +
Alta. +, B.C. +, Ariz. +, Calif. +, Colo. +, Idaho +, Mont. +, Nev. +, N.Mex. +, Oreg. +, Utah +, Wash. +  and Wyo. +
1300–2200 m +
Deep, well-drained (usually sandy) soils in valley bottoms, lower montane slopes, along drainages +
Flowering mid summer–late fall. +
Trans. Amer. Philos. Soc., n. s. +
Illustrated +  and Endemic +
Artemisia angustifolia +  and Artemisia tridentata subsp. xericensis +
Artemisia tridentata subsp. tridentata +
Artemisia tridentata +
subspecies +