Habit: an evergreen shrub with rounded or uneven crowns. Branches are spreading, arising from numerous twisted stems near ground level in the low growing subspecies or from one main trunk in the larger forms. The blue-gray to blue-green leaves are densely covered with fine white hairs giving the foliage a silvery appearance. Leaves are typically wedge-shaped, triangular and gradually taper to the base with three distinct rounded teeth at the leaf end. The yellow flowers are small and inconspicuous borne in panicles on long upright stems from late summer to mid fall. Tiny single seeded fruits follow the flowers. In fall, leaves lose their luster and become a darker gray-green through most of the winter. Big sagebrush has a long life span and a slow growth rate relative to most other plant species. Sagebrush has a strong pungent fragrance, especially when wet.
Ecology: dry plains, hills and mountain slopes at low to high elevations, to 10,000 ft (3048m). Artemisia tridentata can be used for stabilizing slopes and gullies and for restoring degraded wildlife habitat, and rangelands. It is particularly recommended on dry upland sites where other shrubs are difficult to establish.
Growing Conditions: full sun, dry well-drained non alkaline rocky soils, and high drought tolerance.
Evergreen leaves and abundant seed production provide excellent habitat and winter food source to numerous species of large and small mammals, reptiles and various bird species.