Common Names in English:
California Sagebrush, Coast Sagebrush, Coastal Sagebrush
The largest family of flowering plants , the Compositae (Asteraceae), comprising about 1,100 genera and more than 20,000 species and characterized by many small flowers arranged in a head looking like a single flower and subtended by an involucre of bracts. A head may consist of both ray flowers and disk flowers, as in the sunflower, of disk flowers only, as in the burdock, or of ray flowers only, as in the dandelion.
, biennials, perennials
, or shrubs
, 3-350 cm (usually, rarely not, aromatic
) . Stems 1-10+, usually erect
, usually branched, glabrous
basi- or medifixed
) . Leaves basal or basal and cauline; alternate; petiolate
or sessile; blades
, lanceolate, ovate
, cuneate, flabellate
, or spatulate
, usually pinnately and/or palmately lobed
, sometimes apically ± 3-lobed or -toothed, or entire, faces
glabrous or hairy (hairs multicelled and filled with aromatic terpenoids and/or 1-celled and hollow, dolabriform
, T-shaped) . Heads usually discoid
, sometimes disciform
(subradiate in A. bigelovii), in relatively broad, paniculiform
arrays, or in relatively narrow, racemiform
arrays. Involucres campanulate
, or turbinate
, 1.5-8 mm diam. Phyllaries persistent
, 2-20+ in 4-7 series, distinct
, (usually green to whitish green, rarely stramineous
) ovate to lanceolate, unequal, margins
and apices (usually green or white, rarely dark brown or black) ± scarious
faces glabrous or hairy) . Receptacles flat, convex
, or conic (glabrous or hairy), epaleate (except paleate in A. palmeri) . Ray florets 0 (peripheral pistillate
in disciform heads usually 1-20, their corollas filiform; corollas of 1-3 pistillate florets in heads
of A. bigelovii sometimes ± 2-lobed, weakly raylike) . Disc florets 2-20(-30+), bisexual
, or functionally staminate
; corollas (glabrous or ± hirtellous) usually pale
yellow, rarely red, tubes
subglobose or funnelform
5, ± deltate. Cypselae (brown) fusiform
0 (and faces finely striate
) or 2-5, faces glabrous or hairy (not villous
), often gland-dotted (pericarps sometimes with myxogenic cells
, without resin sacs
; embryo sac development monosporic) ; pappi usually 0 (coroniform
in A. californica and A. papposa, sometimes on outer in A. rothrockii) . x = 9.
Species ca. 350-500, mostly Northern Hemisphere (North America, Eurasia ), some in South America and Africa.
As circumscribed here, there are five subgenera in Artemisia; four are represented in the flora area. Etymologies of the common names used for Artemisia species provide glimpses of their uses and demonstrate the rich diversity within the genus. The common name mugwort is from the Old English mucgwyrt, mucg meaning midge, and refers to the use of Old World herbaceous species in repelling flies and midges. Artemisia was called Motherwort in nineteenth century Maine (as an indication of the high esteem for this otherwise rather pedestrian plant), and in the herbal by R. Banckes (1525) : "This herb helpeth a woman to conceyve a chylde, and clenseth the mother, and maketh a woman to have her flowers." Early settlers in North America brought European plants of A. dracunculus, A. vulgaris, A. absinthium, and A. abrotanum into their herb gardens for seasoning and medicinal uses; they would also have learned about aboriginal uses of Artemisia species native to North America, uses that included fertility rites (sagebrush in western North America) and antihelminthics (wormwoods of grasslands and mountain habitats ) . Immigrants used A. annua (sweet Annie) in potpourris and later recognized its utility as an anti-malarial drug, a use that was well known in oriental medicine. Bulwand is the local name used for herbaceous wormwoods in Scotland, and green-ginger and Sailors tobacco are local names in England (T. Coffey 1993) . Use of the names sagewort and sagebrush in North America arise from the familiar aroma of culinary sage, Salvia officinalis (Lamiaceae) . Because true sages (Salvia) and sagewort/sagebrushes (Artemisia) are in separate families, the chemical similarities are an example of convergent evolution. The intense aroma and bitter taste of the plants from terpenoids and sesquiterpene lactones discourages herbivory and undoubtedly has contributed to the remarkable evolutionary success (measured by abundance as well as diversity) of species in this genus. Members of Artemisia are wind-pollinated and their heads and florets are exceptionally small (even for composites ) and, consequently, difficult to examine and assess. Nevertheless, the sexual constitution of floral heads is important in recognition of subgenera. Plant habits and ornamentations of receptacles have also figured in arriving at subgeneric circumscriptions; additional characteristics are enumerated in the descriptions . Artemisia has a well-deserved reputation for being taxonomically difficult. The number of subgenera varies from four to five in modern treatments, and the number of taxa recognized at the species or subspecific levels varies between 250 and 500 (K . Bremer and C. J. Humphries 1993; H. M. Hall and F. E. Clements 1923; Y. R. Ling 1982, 1995; P. P. Poljakov 1961; M. Torrell et al. 1999) . In this treatment, I recognize four native subgenera; subg. Seriphidium is endemic to Asia. In the flora area, the greatest diversity occurs in subg. Artemisia. Subgenus Absinthium can be segregated on the basis of hairs on the receptacle; it may be not phylogenetically distinct (L. E. Watson et al. 2002; J. Valles and E. D. McArthur 2001) . Subgenus Dracunculus is clearly distinguished by molecular differences, and subg. Tridentatae is well defined with the exception of A. pygmaea. This treatment is based on extensive fieldwork, review of recent research, and examination of thousands of specimens; taxonomic circumscriptions remain controversial. Molecular analyses have helped define subgenera but have not clarified relationships between closely related species. The morphologic characters useful in distinguishing species tend to be variable and are often hard to assess (i.e. , the sexuality of microscopic florets) . Users of the keys will meet with frustrations; descriptions of subgenera and illustrations will help in defining the major groupings of species. The subgenera are arranged in approximate phylogenetic order ; species are arranged alphabetically within the subgenera. Molecular studies define subg. Dracunculus as a major clade that is ancestral to the majority of Artemisia. The subgenera Absinthium, Tridentatae, and Artemisia can be classified as clades; they are weakly supported by molecular evidence.
Species Artemisia californica
, (20-) 150-250 cm (rounded
), pungently aromatic
, arched, green or brown, branched (slender, wandlike,
brittle), densely canescent
. Leaves cauline,
light green to gray; blades
× 0.5-2 cm, sometimes pinnately lobed
mm wide), faces
sparsely to densely hairy
. Heads (nodding
at maturity, pedunculate
) in paniculiform
arrays 6-20 × 1-3
cm (branches erect
to broadly spreading
). Involucres globose
2-3(-4) × 2-4(-5) mm.
Phyllaries broadly ovate
yellow, 0.8-1.2 mm, glabrous
. Cypselae ellipsoid
). 2n = 18. [source]
Artemisia californica is the common sagebrush of chaparral in southern California. Its threadlike leaves and green flowering heads distinguish it from any other shrub in California. Artemisia nesiotica, an endemic of the Channel Islands that was initially considered a morphologic variant of A. californica, is distinct in size and form. Systematic placement of the complex may be problematic. The molecular phylogeny of L. E. Watson et al. (2002) suggests an alignment of A. californica within subg. Tridentatae. Based on this finding, a subgeneric realignment of this species may be in order . The odor of A. californica is markedly like that of the culinary mints known as common sage (Salvia species). [source]
Size: under 6" tall.
Coastal scrub , dry foothills; 0-800 m.
Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 1,278 meters (0 to 4,193 feet).
Moisture: Drought Tolerance: High
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- Brongniart, 1843
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Takhtajan Ex Reveal, 1992
- Lindley, 1833
- Giseke, 1792, nom. cons., nom. alt.
- C. Linnaeus, 1753
- Felon-herb, mugwort, sagebrush, sailor'-tobacco, wormwood, armoise, herbe Saint-Jean [Greek Artemis, goddess of the hunt and namesake of Artemisia, Queen of Anatolia]
- Specific epithet:
- Botanical name: - Artemisia californica Less.
- Specific epithet: californica - Less.
- Genus: Artemisia () - C. Linnaeus, 1753 - Felon-herb, mugwort, sagebrush, sailor'-tobacco, wormwood, armoise, herbe Saint-Jean [Greek Artemis, goddess of the hunt and namesake of Artemisia, Queen of Anatolia]
- Subtribe: Artemisiinae ()
- Tribe: Anthemideae ()
- Subfamily: Asteroideae ()
- Family: Compositae () - Giseke, 1792, nom. cons., nom. alt.
- Order: Asterales () - Lindley, 1833
- Superorder: Campanulanae () - Takhtajan Ex Reveal, 1992
- Subclass: Asteridae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Class: Spermatopsida () - Brongniart, 1843
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina ()
- Phylum: Tracheophyta () - Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae () - Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Kingdom: Plantae () - Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
A. fischeriana Besser • A. foliosa Nuttall • Artemisia abrotanoides Nuttall • Crossostephium californicum (Lessing) Rydberg
Status: Accepted Name
Comment: Data Providers: CONABIO, New Zealand Plant Name Database, Govaerts World Compositae Checklist A-G, IPNI, Tropicos. GCC LSID: urn :lsid:compositae.org:names:4D3D26B7-4243-4BE8-AB98-16BB1AD38A1D
Last scrutiny: 10-Aug-09
Members of the genus Artemisia
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 186 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus. Here are just 100 of them:
A. abrotanum (Garderobe) · A. abrotanum 'Tangerine' (Lads Love) · A. abrotanum 'Variegata' (Southernwood) · A. absinthium (Absinth) · A. absinthium L. var. absinthium L. (Absinthe Wormwood) · A. absinthium var. absinthium (Absinth Sagewort) · A. absinthium 'Huntington' (Absinth) · A. absinthium 'Lambrook Silver' (Absinth) · A. alaskana (Alaska Wormwood) · A. aleutica (Aleutian Wormwood) · A. annua (Annual Wormwood) · A. annua 'Cramer's Yardstick' (Annual Wormwood) · A. arbuscula (Dwarf Sagebrush) · A. arbuscula arbuscula (Dwarf Sagebrush) · A. arbuscula longiloba (Alkali Sagebrush) · A. arbuscula subsp. longicaulis (Lahontan Sagebrush) · A. arbuscula subsp. longiloba (Little Sagebrush) · A. arbuscula subsp. thermopola (Little Sagebrush) · A. arctica (Boreal Sagebrush) · A. arctica arctica (Dwarf Sagebrush) · A. arctica subsp. beringensis (Boreal Sagebrush) · A. arctica subsp. comata (Boreal Sagebrush) · A. australis (Oahu Wormwood) · A. biennis (Biennial Sagewort) · A. biennis var. biennis (Biennial Wormwood) · A. biennis var. diffusa (Biennial Wormwood) · A. biennis Willd. var. biennis Willd. (Biennial Wormwood) · A. biennis Willd. var. diffusa Dorn (Biennial Wormwood) · A. bigelovii (Bigelow Sage) · A. californica (California Sagebrush) · A. californica 'Canyon Gray' (Trailing Sagebrush) · A. californica 'Montara' (Trailing Sagebrush) · A. campestris (Common Sagewort) · A. campestris borealis (Boreal Wormwood) · A. campestris campestris (Field Southernwood) · A. campestris caudata (Beach Wormwood) · A. campestris lednicensis (Common Sagewort) · A. campestris maritima (Common Sagewort) · A. campestris pacifica (Pacific Wormwood) · A. campestris pycnocephala (Sagewort Wormwood) · A. campestris spithamaea (Sagewort Wormwood) · A. campestris typica (Sagewort Wormwood) · A. campestris variabilis (Sagewort Wormwood) · A. campestris var. borealis (Field Sagewort) · A. campestris var. petiolata (Field Sagewort) · A. campestris var. scouleriana (Pacific Wormwood) · A. campestris var. wormskioldii (Field Sagewort) · A. campestris subsp. borealis (Northern Sagewort) · A. campestris subsp. caudata (Pacific Wormwood) · A. cana (Hoary Sagebrush) · A. cana bolanderi (Bolander Silver Sagebrush) · A. cana cana (Plains Silver Sagebrush) · A. cana viscidula (Mountain Silver Sagebrush) · A. cana subsp. bolanderi (Bolander's Silver Sagebrush) · A. cana subsp. viscidula (Mountain Silver Sagebrush) · A. carruthii (Carruth Sagewort) · A. caucasica (Caucasian Artemisia) · A. cina (Santonica) · A. douglasiana (Douglas Wormwood) · A. dracunculus (Common Kitchen Tarragon) · A. dracunculus dracunculus (French Tarragon) · A. dracunculus glauca (Dragon Wormwood) · A. dracunculus var. Sativa (French Tarragon) · A. filifolia (Sand Sage) · A. franserioides (Ragweed Sagebrush) · A. franseroides (Ragweed Sagebrush) · A. frigida (Fringed Sagebrush) · A. furcata (Forked Wormwood) · A. furcata Bieb. var. furcata Bieb. (Forked Wormwood) · A. furcata var. furcata (Forked Wormwood) · A. furcata var. heterophylla (Forked Wormwood) · A. glacialis (Glacier Wormwood) · A. globularia (Arctic Wormwood) · A. glomerata (Apcific Alpine Wormwood) · A. glomerata var. glomerata (Pacific Alpine Wormwood) · A. glomerata var. glomerata Ledeb. (Pacific Alpine Wormwood) · A. glomerata var. subglabrata (Pacific Alpine Wormwood) · A. gmelinii (Gmelin's Wormwood) · A. gmelinii intermedia (Russian Wormwood) · A. gmelinii manshurica (Russian Wormwood) · A. indica (Asian Mugwort) · A. kauaiensis (Kauai Wormwood) · A. krushiana (Krush's Wormwood) · A. laciniata (Siberian Wormwood) · A. lactiflora (White Mugwort) · A. lactiflora 'Guizhou' (Purple Ghost Plant) · A. lindleyana (Columbia River Wormwood) · A. longifolia (Long-Leaf Wormwood) · A. ludoviciana albula (Cudweed Sagewort) · A. ludoviciana candicans (Cudweed Sagewort) · A. ludoviciana estesii (Cudweed Sagewort) · A. ludoviciana gnaphalodes (Louisiana Wormwood) · A. ludoviciana gnaphaloides (Louisiana Wormwood) · A. ludoviciana incompta (Cudweed Sagewort) · A. ludoviciana ludoviciana (Louisiana Wormwood) · A. ludoviciana sulcata (Cudweed Sagewort) · A. ludoviciana subsp. albula (White Sagebrush) · A. ludoviciana subsp. candicans (White Sagebrush) · A. ludoviciana subsp. incompta (Mountain Sagewort) · A. ludoviciana subsp. mexicana (Mexican White Sagebrush)
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- Valles, J. and E. D. McArthur. 2001. Artemisia systematics and phylogeny: Cytogenetic and molecular insights. In: E. D. McArthur and D. J. Fairbanks, comps. 2001. Shrubland Ecosystem Genetics and Biodiversity: Proceedings: Provo, UT, June 13-15, 2000. Ogden. Pp. 67-74.
- Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed January 10, 2012.
Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 16, 2007:
- Berkeley Natural History Museums, University and Jepson Herbaria DiGIR provider
- Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden
- USDA PLANTS, USDA PLANTS Database
- Utah State University, USU-UTC Specimen Database
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2657299
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Ast-24750
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 13748413
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:179291-1
- GRIN Nomen Number: 103962
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 35453
- Natural Heritage Network Species Identifier: PDAST0S0C0
- U.S.D.A. Plant Symbol: ARCA11
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 22765
- Leila M. Shultz "Artemisia". in Flora of North America Vol. 19, 20 and 21 Page 6, 26, 53, 398, 486, 487, 498, 503, 504, 50. Oxford University Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- Mean = 87.900 meters (288.386 feet), Standard Deviation = 377.100 based on 69 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]