Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people.
Leaves - cooked. The subspecies A. tridentata vaseyana has a pleasant mint-like aroma whilst some other subspecies are very bitter and pungent. The leaves are used as a condiment and to make a tea. Seed - raw or cooked. Oily. It can be roasted then ground into a powder and mixed with water or eaten raw. The seed is very small and fiddly to use[K].
An infusion of the leaves is used as a hair rinse, it treats dandruff and falling hair. An infusion of the plant repels insects, it is also disinfectant and so is used for washing walls, floors etc. A yellow to gold dye is obtained from the leaves, buds and stems combined. The fibrous bark is used for weaving mats, baskets, cloth etc., or as a stuffing material in pillows etc and as an insulation in shoes to keep the feet warm. A fibre obtained from the inner bark is used for making paper. The fibres are about 1.3mm long. The stems are harvested in late summer, the leaves removed and the stems steamed until the fibre can be stripped off. The fibre is then cooked for two hours with lye before being ball milled for 4 hours. The resulting paper is a light tan/gold colour. A bunch of the leafy stems can be tied together and used as a broom. The shredded bark is a fine tinder for starting fires. The stems make good friction sticks for making fires. The seeds are used during celebrations because, when thrown into a fire, they explode like crackers. Wood - hard, dense. It burns rapidly and well, even when green, and has a pleasant aromatic smell.
Sage brush was widely employed by many native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a wide range of disorders. It is little used in modern herbalism, though it certainly merits further investigation[K]. The plant is antirheumatic, antiseptic, digestive, disinfectant, febrifuge, ophthalmic, poultice and sedative. A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of digestive disorders and sore throats. An infusion of the fresh or dried leaves is used to treat pneumonia, bad colds with coughing and bronchitis. It is used both internally and externally in the treatment of rheumatism. The crushed plant is used as a liniment on cuts, sores etc whilst a decoction of the leaves is used as an antiseptic wash for cuts, wounds and sores. A poultice of the steeped leaves is applied to sore eyes. The plant is burnt in the house in order to disinfect it.
Seed - surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse in a very free-draining soil, but making sure that the compost does not dry out. The sub-species A. tridentata vaseyana germinates better if given a cool stratification for 30 - 50 days. Other sub-species germinate in 1 - 2 weeks in a warm greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting them out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Very slow to root Division in spring or autumn. Layering.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Artemisia tridentata. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil that is not too rich. Requires a lime-free soil. There are a number of sub-species growing in different habitats from deep fertile soils to poor shallow ones. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Established plants are very drought tolerant. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun[K]. The plant is very aromatic, especially after rain. The pollen of this species is one of the main causes of hayfever in N. America. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Artemisia tridentata. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? to add it.
Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Artemisia tridentata.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
- Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 4. Thompson and Morgan. (32202/01/01)
- Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (32202/01/01)
- Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (32202/01/01)
- Turner. N. J. Plants in British Columbian Indian Technology. British Columbia Provincial Museum ISBN 0-7718-8117-7 (32202/01/01)
- Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants. MacMillan Publishing Co. New York. ISBN 0-02-544950-8 (32202/01/01)
- Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 0442238622 (32202/01/01)
- Craighead. J., Craighead. F. and Davis. R. A Field Guide to Rocky Mountain Wildflowers The Riverside Press ISBN 63-7093 (32202/01/01)
- Coyle. J. and Roberts. N. C. A Field Guide to the Common and Interesting Plants of Baja California. Natural History Publishing Co. (32202/01/01)
- Coon. N. The Dictionary of Useful Plants. Rodale Press ISBN 0-87857-090-x (32202/01/01)
- Bell. L. A. Plant Fibres for Papermaking. Liliaceae Press (32202/01/01)
- Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (32202/01/01)
- Whiting. A. F. Ethnobotany of the Hopi North Arizona Society of Science and Art (32202/01/01)
- Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (32202/01/01)
- Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237. U.S. Depf of Agriculture. ()
- Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (32202/01/01)
- F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (32202/01/01)
- Hitchcock. C. L. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press (32202/01/01)
- Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (32202/01/01)
- Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (32202/01/01)
- Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos. Murray ISBN 0-7195-5043-2 (32202/01/01)
- Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (32202/01/01)
"image:Greatbasin sage.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.