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Artemisia (frigida)

Richard L. Wynia
USDA NRCS - Manhattan Plant Materials Center
3800 S. 20th Street
Manhattan, Kansas 66502-9535
(785) 539-8761
(785) 539-6928 (fax)

Family Scientific Name: Asteraceae
Family Common Name: Aster
Scientific Name: Artemisia frigida
Common Name: Fringed Sagebrush OR Wormwood OR Prairie Sagewort
General Distribution: This species inhabits a fairly wide variety of sites, but grows most typically in full sunlight on dry, porous, coarse, gravelly, sandy, or shallow loam soils. Fringed sagebrush has an enormous range, being the most widely distributed and abundant species of the Artemisia genus. Its range extends from Mexico northward through the greater portion of the western United States and Canada and into Alaska.
Propagation Goal: seeds
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Propagules (seeds, cuttings, poles, etc.)
Time To Grow: 0
Propagule Processing: EASE OF COLLECTION: Easily hand stripped from plant inflorescences.
METHOD OF CLEANING: Hand cleaned using rub board and hand screens. Screened material then placed in South Dakota seed blower to remove fine inert materials from the cleaning process.
UNUSUAL OR UNIQUE PROCESSING REQUIREMENTS: Clean by hammermilling or mechanically flailing; recleaned in fanning mill.
PROPAGATION METHOD: Seed and vegetatively. This species has a tremendous reproductive potential. It produces an abundance of small seeds and can also re-produce itself vegetatively from rootstocks. Fringed sagebrush produces over 4 million seeds per pound. Germination occurs naturally atrelatively cool temperatures. Laboratory tests have shown that optimum temperatures for germination ranged from 59-68§F (Sabo et al. 1979).
PERCENT GERMINATION: About 50% of the seeds germinate quickly in 5 to 12 days in lab tests but the others germinate more slowly over a 30-day period.
Pre-Planting Treatments: PRETREATMENT USED: Moist stratification of fresh seed for 10 days at 39.2§F increased the rate and amount of germination. Seed exposed to light germinated faster than that kept in darkness.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
METHOD OF GROWING: Plant when soil temperatures are below 50§F. Late fall or early spring seeding when soil temperatures will remain cool and moisture will not be limiting. Surface seeding beneficial because light induces greater germination where surface moisture assured, e.g., with irrigation or where snowmelt extends for a few weeks. Otherwise, seeding at depths 4 times diameter of seed advised.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: SEED MATURITY DATE: Fall.

UNUSUAL OR UNIQUE HARVESTING OR DIGGING REQUIREMENTS: Seed harvested by stripping or rubbing into containers or, where heads are well extended, using electric hedge cutters.

STORAGE REQUIREMENTS: Specifics of storage not extensively investigated.
Observations indicate that the species' viability can be maintained over an extended period of time. It is assumed that cold, dry storage may extend viability of Artemisia sp.

ESTIMATED PROPAGULE STORAGE POTENTIAL: Stored for years under the proper environmental conditions.
Other Comments: RE-ESTABLISHMENT TECHNIQUES: (Fringed Sagebrush) The very small seeds are adapted for germination on or very near the surface of seedbeds. The seedbed should be well prepared and firm. Proper seed to seedbead palcement is difficult at best. Direct seeding of sagabrush species should include a mixture of seed and an extender or carrier such as vermiculite or rice hulls for better control of seed metering in the drill.
References: Barr, C.A. 1983. Jewels of the Plains. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Cooperrider, A.Y., and J.A. Bailey. 1986. Fringed Sagebrush(Artemisia frigida): A Neglected Forage Species of Western Ranges. Proceedings - symposium on the biology of Artemisia and Chrysothamnus. USDA, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Ogden Utah. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-200.

Looman, J. 1983. 111 Range and forage Plants of the Canadian Prairies. Agriculture Canada. Publication 1751. Ottawa, Canada: Canadian government Publishing Centre.

Stubbendieck, J., S.L. Hatch, and K.J. Kjar. 1982. North American Range Plants, 2d ed. Lincoln, NE: Univ. of Nebraska Press.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1937, 1974, 1985;

Sabo, D.G., G.V. Johnson, W.E. Martin, and E.F. Aldon. 1979. Germination Requirements of 19 species of Arid Land Plants. USDA, Forest Service. Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. Research Paper RM-210.

Young, James A., and Cheryl G. Young. 1986. Collecting, Processing, and Germinating Seeds of Wildland Plants. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press.


Wynia, Richard. 2002. Propagation protocol for production of Propagules (seeds, cuttings, poles, etc.) Artemisia frigida seeds USDA NRCS - Manhattan Plant Materials Center Manhattan, Kansas. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2020/09/18). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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