Artemisia frigida Willd.
prairie sagewort
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Paul Handford     (Photo ID #68582)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Artemisia frigida
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

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


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)
785 184 2316
Slope Gradient (%)
31 0 130

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

198 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 0 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
# 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)

Habitat and 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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia