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Big Sagebrush
Asteraceae
Artemisia tridentate


Thunder
Thunder
Type Categories Useful Parts

Shrub



Asteraceae Family

Artemisia Genus
Other Names for this Plant

Blue sagebrush, Chamiso hendiondo (Spanish for ‘waist high gray bushes that stink’), Common sagebrush


Location

Big Sagebrush is the dominant shrub over vast areas of the Great Basin region and across the great plains. British Columbia to Baja California eastward to the Dakotas

Physical Description
Big sagebrush, an evergreen, rounded, fairly compact shrub with gray-green foliage and very small yellow flower heads in long clusters, grows to a height of 2 to 5 or more feet and is aromatic. It is a dry looking shrub with long, soft bark that hangs in shreds. The leaves are about an inch long and wedge shaped, with three teeth at the end. Flowers are tiny and non-descript, flowering in late August to early October. The flowers are a silvery yellow in color, with most plants blooming only in wet years.
Extensive stands of big sagebrush and fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens) occupy many areas between 6,500 to 7000 feet within the range of the big sagebrush from about 4900 feet up to about 7500 fee


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Asteraceae
Asterales
Asterales
Star Order (Daisies)
Euasterids II
Euasterids II
Real Stars Group Two
Asteridae
Asteridae
Class of Stars (Daisies)
Core Eudicots
Core Eudicots
Main, Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Eudicots
Eudicots
Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Mesangiospermae
Mesangiospermae
Half Capsule Seed Division
Magnoliophyta
Magnoliophyta
Magnolia Division
Spermatophytes
Spermatophytes
Seed Plants
Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
Air Pores Sub-Kingdom
Embryophytes
Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus


General Information

Before the present Ute, Navajo, Apache, and Hopi tribes occupied these lands, the Fremont people who lived north of Four Corners had developed an industry where much of everything that was woven or crafted from plant material was of big sagebrush. Ancestral Puebloans also used bark and other parts of the plant. On the Colorado Plateau and southward, sagebrush was one of the principal shrub fuels during Archaic, Ancestral Puebloan, and early historical times.
Sagebrush flowers, seeds, and leaves have been detected incoprolites from many Ancestral Puebloan sites, including Mesa Verde, and in enough quantity to suggest all were minor components of prehistoric diets and not just taken for medicinal purposes. Indeed sagebrush leaves are a good source or iron and vitamin C and in later years were eaten by the Southern Paiute during times of shortage.
Medicinal Uses: Artemisia tridentata is one of the life medicines and is highly revered by the Navajo. . Mixed with another species of sagebrush, it is said to cure headaches by odor alone. When the plant is boiled, it is said to be good for childbirth ( for the pain of child delivery), indigestion, and constipation; a tea of the stems and leaves is said to sure colds and fevers. The tea is drunk before long hikes or athletic contests to “rid the body of undesirable things.” A poultice made from pounded leaves is said to be good for colds, swellings, and tuberculosis or as a liniment for corns. The same medicine is used on animal sores.
Food Uses: 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.
Other Notes: One of the four sacred plants of the Native Americans used in smudge for purification.
Navajo weavers boil the leaves and twigs to produce various shades of yellow and gold wool dyes.
In Navajo legend, Coyote gave this tobacco to the Water Monster to calm her after he had stolen her baby.
It is Nevada's State plant.



Big Sagebrush




Big Sagebrush




Big Sagebrush


Comment: Big Sagebrush, Artemisia tridentate

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