E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Artemisia frigida Willd.
prairie sagewort
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Paul Handford  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #68582)

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Distribution of Artemisia frigida
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a stout stem-base or woody crown, often shrubby at the base, with several short, leafy offsets; stems ascending to erect, white or tawny, woolly-hairy, 10-40 cm tall.
Basal leaves few, soon deciduous; stem leaves silvery-silky hairy, small, short-stalked below, short-stalked above, 2-3 times divided into fine-linear segments, the segments about 1 mm wide or less, often with a pair of 3-parted, stipule-like divisions at the base.
Heads disciform, nodding, several to many in a simple or branched inflorescence; involucres hemispheric, 2-3.5 mm tall; involucral bracts linear-lanceolate to lanceolate, loosely cottony-hairy and brown on the margins; receptacles with numerous long hairs between the flowers; female flowers 10-17; disk flowers 25-50.
Achenes glabrous, pappus absent.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: White
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry southerly slopes, sandy banks, grasslands and open forests in the montane to subalpine zones; common throughout BC in and E of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; circumboreal, N to AK, YT and NT, E to MB and S to MN, WI, KS, TX, NM and AZ, Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Artemisia frigida

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 184 785 2316
Slope Gradient (%) 0 31 130
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 198 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(2), BAFA(2), BG(580), BWBS(44), ESSF(14), ICH(2), IDF(434), IMA(1), MS(9), PP(150), SBPS(3), SBS(12), SWB(10)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References