white sage

(Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. ludoviciana)

Conservation Status
white sage
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

UPL - Obligate upland


UPL - Obligate upland

  Northcentral & Northeast

UPL - Obligate upland


White sage is a 1 to 3 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on multiple stems from a slender, horizontal rhizome. It often forms colonies. The leaves and stem are highly fragrant with a sage-like aroma.

The stems are unbranched below the inflorescence. They are covered with white, short, soft, matted, woolly hairs, at least near the top.

The leaves are alternate, gray, inversely lance-shaped with the attachment at the narrow end. They are 1 to 4⅓″ long and up to ½ wide at the base, getting progressively smaller as they ascend the stem. They are untoothed and unlobed or may have a few lobes or large, coarse teeth toward the tips. The margins are flat, not rolled under. The upper and lower surfaces are densely covered with white, short, soft, matted, woolly hairs, the lower surface more so than the upper.

The inflorescence is an erect, dense, 2 to 12 long, spike-like cluster at the top of some of the stems.

The flowers are yellow or yellow-green, small, round, and inconspicuous. They are composed of 6 to 12 very short ray florets and 5 to 12 disk florets. There is no floral scent.

The fruit is a tiny achene.




1 to 3


Flower Color


Yellow or yellow-green


Similar Species


Subspecies ludoviciana is the most widespread, common, and the most varied in appearance. It is the only subspecies that occurs in Minnesota.

The gray color of the stems and leaves and the relatively broad, lance-shaped leaf distinguish this plant from other Artemisia species that occur in the state.


Dry. Prairies, disturbed sites.




July to October


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  


Asterales (sunflowers, bellflowers, fanflowers, and allies)  


Asteraceae (sunflowers, daisies, asters, and allies)  
  Subfamily Asteroideae  
  Supertribe Asterodae  
  Tribe Anthemideae (chamomiles, yarrows, and allies)  
  Subtribe Artemisiinae  
  Genus Artemisia (wormwoods and sagebrushes)  
  Species Artemisia ludoviciana (silver wormwood)  





Artemisia brittonii

Artemisia cuneata

Artemisia diversifolia

Artemisia falcata

Artemisia gnaphalodes

Artemisia herriotii

Artemisia lindheimeriana

Artemisia ludoviciana var. americana

Artemisia ludoviciana var. brittonii

Artemisia ludoviciana var. gnaphalodes

Artemisia ludoviciana var. latifolia

Artemisia ludoviciana var. pabularis

Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. typica

Artemisia pabularis

Artemisia paucicephala

Artemisia pudica

Artemisia purshiana

Artemisia rhizomata

Artemisia vulgaris var. ludoviciana

Artemisia vulgaris ssp. ludoviciana


Common Names



cudweed sagewort

gray sagewort

Louisiana sage

Louisiana sagebrush

Louisiana sage-wort

Louisiana wormwood

mugwort wormwood

pasture sage

prairie sage

silver wormwood

western mugwort

western sage

white sage

white sagebrush














A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded seed capsule, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed entirely from the wall of the superior ovary, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

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Nancy Falkum



    white sage      

Tom T.


White Sage & Smooth Sumac

    white sage      

Charity Saxum

    white sage   white sage  
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos


    white sage   white sage  


    white sage   white sage  
    white sage      



Artemisia ludoviciana
Matt Lavin
  Artemisia ludoviciana  

Native rhizomatous herb to 90 cm tall, often in disturbed settings including overgrazed rangeland and roadsides. The stems leaves are often very variable in width, length, and degree of lobing and dentition (from entire leaves to dentate at the tip or lobed along the margins).




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  Nancy Falkum

Location: Kellogg Weaver Dunes SNA, Weaver Dunes Unit


white sage  
  Tom T.

Location: Seven Sisters Prairie

White Sage & Smooth Sumac

white sage  
  Charity Saxum

Location: rural Parkers Prairie, MN

white sage  
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