Common Names : Fringed Wormwood, Fringed sagebrush, Prairie sagewort, and Pasture sage
Habitat ; Artemisia frigida is native to Europe, Asia, and much of North America, in Canada and the western United States. In parts of the north-central eastern United States it is an introduced species. It grows on dry prairies, plains and rocks to 3300 metres in N. America.
Artemisia frigida is a low-spreading, semi-evergreen, perennial herb but with a woody base. The stems spread out, generally forming a mat or clump up to 40 centimetres (1.3 ft) tall. The stems are covered in lobed gray-green leaves which are coated in silvery hairs. The inflorescence contains many spherical flower heads each about half a centimeter wide and lined with woolly-haired, gray-green or brownish phyllaries. The flower heads contain several pistillate ray florets and many bisexual disc florets. The plant is aromatic, with a strong scent. The fruit are rather inconspicuous. This plant can make a great many seeds.It can also spread by layering; in some years it produces very few seeds.
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This plant is common and dominant or codominant in many areas, especially in dry and disturbed habitat types. It is common in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains in North America, where it occurs in grasslands, shrublands, and woodlands, among others. It has a tendency to increase in areas that have been heavily grazed by livestock. Overgrowth of the plant is sometimes an indicator of overgrazing on rangeland. It sometimes becomes an aggressive weed. Ranchers have considered the plant to be both an adequate forage species and a worthless nuisance species.
Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil that is not too rich. Requires a lime-free soil. Established plants are very drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. A very ornamental plant. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse in a very free-draining soil, but make sure that the compost does not dry out. The seed usually germinates within 1 – 2 weeks in a warm greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Division in spring or autumn.
Edible Uses: The leaves are used by the Hopi Indians as a flavouring for sweet corn.
First introduced as a substitute for quinine. Used to combat indigestion by chewing leaves. The leaves are used in the treatment of women’s complaints. The plant contains camphor, which is stimulant and antispasmodic. An infusion of the leaves is used in the treatment of biliousness, indigestion, coughs and colds while the leaves are chewed and the juice swallowed to treat heartburn. A poultice of the chewed leaves is used as a poultice to reduce swellings and the leaves are also placed in the nose to stop nosebleeds. A hot poultice of the leaves has been used to treat toothache. The leaves can be used as a sanitary towel to help reduce skin irritation. They are also drunk as a tea when the woman is menstruating or to treat irregular menstruation. The dried leaves are burnt in a room as a disinfectant. A decoction of the root is used as a stimulant and tonic.
A number of wild animals consume the plant, including white-tailed jackrabbits and sage grouse.
This sagebrush had a variety of uses for Native American groups. It was used medicinally for coughs, colds, wounds, and heartburn by the Blackfoot. The Cree people used it for headache and fever and the Tewa people took it for gastritis and indigestion. It also had ceremonial and veterinary applications, including for the Blackfoot, who reportedly used the crushed leaves to “revive gophers after children clubbed them while playing a game”.
This plant is also used in landscaping and for erosion control and revegetation of rangeland. It is drought-resistant.
Both the growing and the dried plant can be used as an insect repellent. The leaves can be placed on a camp fire to repel mosquitoes. The aromatic leaves have been used in pillows etc as a deodorant. Bunches of the soft leaves have been used as towels, toilet paper etc. A green dye is obtained from the leaves.
Known Hazards : Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people.
Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider
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