[Artemisia arbuscula subsp. nova (A. Nels.) G.H. Ward, moreArtemisia arbuscula var. nova (A. Nels.) Cronq., Artemisia nova var. duchesnicola Welsh & Goodrich, Artemisia tridentata subsp. nova (A. Nels.) Hall & Clements, Seriphidium novum (A. Nels.) W.A. Weber]
Shrubs, 10-30(-50) cm (trunks relatively short, widely and loosely branched), pungently aromatic; not root-sprouting. Stems brown, glabrescent (vegetative of approximately equal heights, giving plants a `hedged´ appearance; bark dark gray, exfoliating with age). Leaves persistent, usually bright green to dark green, sometimes gray-green; blades cuneate, 3-lobed (lobes to 1/3 blade lengths, 0.5-2 × 0.2-1 cm, rounded), faces sparsely hairy, gland-dotted. Heads in paniculiform arrays 4-10 × 0.5-3 cm (branches ± erect; peduncles slender). Involucres narrowly turbinate, 2-3 × 2 mm. Phyllaries (straw-colored or light green) ovate to elliptic (margins hyaline, shiny-resinous), sparsely hairy or glabrous. Florets 2-6; corollas 2-3 mm, glabrous (style branches scarcely exsert). Cypselae (ribbed) 0.8-1.5 mm, glabrous or resinous. 2n = 18, 36.
Common Name: black sagebrush Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Shrub General: Shrub, mostly 10-30 cm (0.3-1 ft) tall, strongly aromatic; stems brown, nearly glabrous; branches spreading, loose; twigs densely pubescent, often becoming glabrous with age; caudex woody; fibrous rooted. Leaves: Cauline (persistent), alternate, cuneate in outline, 0.5- 2 cm long, 0.2-1 cm wide, bright to dark green, sometimes gray-green, surfaces sparsely pubescent, dotted with translucent glands, apex 3- or sometimes 5-lobed, the lobes rounded. Flowers: Heads mostly erect, arranged in panicle-like arrays; involucre campanulate to top-shaped, 2-4 mm long; involucral bracts numerous, in 4-7 series, straw colored to light green, glabrous or nearly so, margins membranous; disk flowers only, mostly 3-5, pale yellow. Fruits: Achene, 0.8-1.5 mm long, ribbed, glabrous or resinous; pappus absent. Ecology: Found on dry slopes, mesas, thin rocky soils from 4,500- 9,000 ft (1372-2743 m), flowers August-September. Distribution: Apache, Coconino, Mohave, and Navajo counties; western and southwestern U.S. Notes: Artemisia bigelovii is very similar to A. nova, but the former is only mildly aromatic, leaves have acute lobes, leaf surfaces are light gray green and moderately to densely silvery-pubescent, heads are mostly nodding, with both disk and ray flowers (usually 1-2), involucres are rounded, and involucral bracts are densely tomentose. It occurs in deserts, mesas, slopes, rocky outcrops, and canyons from 3,000-8,000 ft (914-2438 m). Artemisia nova is known to hybridize with A. tridentata. It establishes more successfully from direct seeding than A. tridentata, even on fairly severe sites, and germinates most successfully on bare soil. It tends to grow on warmer and drier sites, and those with more calcareous soils, than big sagebrush. Plants are not tolerant of fire at any intensity, and have not been observed to resprout; thus colonization typically must occur through dispersal from off-site sources. Ethnobotany: Black sagebrush is highly palatable as browse and forage, however it may be lethal to sheep if it is the main species consumed. Editor: Springer et al. 2011