and Scientific Names
is the common name of the plant
The scientific name
for sagebrush is Artemisia tridentata.
from the name for the Greek goddess of
the hunt and wild nature, Artemis. The
"three toothed" for the three lobed leaves which look
known by the common names:
big sagebrush, common wormwood, and
first occurred about
15 million years ago in the late Miocene Epoch. In the Miocene Epoch
the climate began to dry in the
western North American continent causing excellent conditions for sagebrush.
Does SageBrush Look Like?
woody shrub, sagebrush grows from about two to seven feet high in places
with plenty of water and deep soil. Artemisia
tridentata has silvery colored leaves that stay green all
year. Each leaf of the sagebrush has three lobes that look similar to
leaves of Artemisia tridentata are narrow and covered with tiny hairs.
These hairs protect the sagebrush from drying out in the wind and alternately
hot and cold temperatures of Idaho.
thick trunk of the sagebrush has many side branches that swoop upwards.
The young stems are smooth and silvery, but as the shrub matures, the
stems turn grayer and the bark begins to grow in long strips.
stems grow near the ends of the branches. Tiny yellow or cream-colored
flowers bloom in dense clusters on sagebrush in late summer to early
fall. The seeds of the sagebrush are black and very tiny. One sagebrush
can produce a million seeds.
Is Sagebrush Found?
prefers drier plains or rocky areas.
Native Peoples used sagebrush bark as a source of cordage and wove the
plant's fibers into clothing, sleeping mats, and moccasins.
Image: Idaho Museum of Natural
only preparation needed for sagebrush bark cordage was to rub the bark
between the hands to make it soft and to remove small pieces of bark.
Soaking the bark in water made it more pliable.
Usually, the bark was harvested from tall sagebrush, because the strands
of bark would be longer and make better cordage.