Artemisia discolor Douglas ex Besser
Artemisia vulgaris michauxiana (Besser) H.St.John
Common Name: Mountain Sagewort
Plant growing in native habitat in the Bridger Mountains, USA. It can spread quite freely by means of its rhizomatous rootstock.
Photograph by: Matt Lavin
Artemisia michauxiana is a herbaceous, perennial plant growing 30 - 100cm tall. The plant produces several erect stems from a rhizomatous rootstock[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and possibly also as a food.
Although we have seen no specific reports for this species, many members of this genus contain potentially allergenic sesquiterpene lactones that can cause skin reactions[
Western N. America - Yukon to California, Nevada and Utah
Rocky places in mountains, usually at rather high elevations[
]. Talus slopes, alpine and subalpine drainages; at elevations from 1,900 - 3,700 metres[
Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a warm sunny dry position. Established plants are drought tolerant[
]. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil[
The foliage is strongly aromatic, with a scent of lemon[
Members of the Artemisia ludoviciana complex with deeply lobed leaves are sometimes confused with A. Michauxiana, and there is evidence that plants hybridize in some locations[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
]. No further details are given, but the seed is very small and fiddly to use.
A hot infusion of the plant has been used in the treatment of headaches[
A poultice of the chewed plant is applied to sprains and swellings[
Seed - surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse, making sure that the compost does not dry out[
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer.
Division in spring or autumn[
Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the young shoots when about 10 - 15cm long, pot up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse or cold frame and plant them out when well rooted. Very easy.