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

Artemisia tridentata subsp. vaseyana Nutt. (Rydb.) Beetle
mountain sagebrush (big sagebrush)
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Thayne Tuason  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #76391)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Artemisia tridentata subsp. vaseyana
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Species Information

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Perennial, aromatic, evergreen shrub; stems solitary or branched from the base with shredding, grey or light brown bark when older, or with a dense, grooved, white-woolly hairiness when young, 0.1-2.0 m tall.
Principal leaves unstalked or short-stalked, silvery-hairy, typically wedge-shaped with 3 blunt teeth at the tips or sometimes 4-9 toothed or shallowly lobed, 1-4 (rarely 6) cm long, 2-13 mm wide.
Heads discoid, numerous in a narrow to broad inflorescence; involucres narrowly bell-shaped, 3.0-3.8 mm tall; involucral bracts elliptic to obtuse, greyish-hairy; receptacles glabrous; female flowers absent; disk flowers 3-6, sometimes up to 12 at higher elevations.
Achenes resinous-granular, rarely short-hairy.
Recently, the var. wyominensis Beetle & A. Young has been reported in BC. At the present time, however, our material has not been studied with respect to this variety thus only our two traditional varieties are recognized here. They may be distinguished as follows:

1. Involucres narrowly bell-shaped, about 4 mm tall and 2 mm wide; plants of arid sites in the steppe and lower montane zones ..... var. tridentata

1. Involucres broader, about 5 mm tall and 4 mm wide; plants of cooler, mesic open sites in the upper montane and subalpine zones ..... var. vaseyana (Rydb.) Boivin

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Blooming Period:
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Fall to
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry to mesic meadows and slopes in the steppe to subalpine zones; common in SC BC, rare in SE BC; E to AB and S to ND, NM, AZ, and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana

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) 426 1654 2000
Slope Gradient (%) 0 34 75
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
34 194 250
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 1 4
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: ESSF(16), IDF(6), MS(16)


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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Artemisia tridentata var. pauciflora Winward & Goodrich
Artemisia tridentata var. vaseyana (Rydb.) B. Boivin
Artemisia tridentata var. vaseyana Nutt.
Artemisia vaseyana Rydb.
Seriphidium tridentatum subsp. vaseyanum (Rydb.) W.A. Weber
Seriphidium vaseyanum (Rydb.) W.A. Weber

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References