Big Sagebrush (káwkwu,)

Big Sagebrush is a greyish-green evergreen shrub that is highly aromatic and widespread in the south interior of British Columbia. It generally grows up to 2 m tall, though it can grow much taller on occasion. Big Sagebrush is one of the most distinct plants in this area and has a long history of cultural importance.

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Description
Latin Name Artemisia tridentata
Type Shrub
Description Big Sagebrush is a greyish-green evergreen shrub that is highly aromatic and widespread in the south interior of British Columbia. It generally grows up to 2 m tall, though it can grow much taller on occasion. Big Sagebrush is one of the most distinct plants in this area and has a long history of cultural importance.
Height and Spread Up to 2 m tall. Up to 2 m spread.
Bloom Colour Yellow
Bloom Months Late summer (July/August)
Foliage Colour Grey-green
Seed Months September
Light and Water Prefers open direct sunlight in hot areas. Generally grows in very dry areas.
Ethnobotany Information South Interior First Nations peoples used Big Sagebrush for many purposes including steeping the leaves and branches into a tea for colds, burning it as a fumigant and for smudging. The bark was also commonly woven into mats, bags, and clothing.
Wildlife Uses Big Sagebrush is one of the most important plants in providing habitat in dry grasslands and sage areas for many species of birds and small mammals such as grouse, rabbit, and deer.
Garden Uses Big Sagebrush can be effectively used for xeriscaping in garden or landscaping settings. It has very low water requirements and will flourish with little to no attention needed. It is also highly aromatic and unique in appearance.
Facts Big Sagebrush has significantly expanded its range since European arrival due to overgrazing by cattle. Interestingly Big Sagebrush will release volatile chemicals when damaged by grazing herbivores or other disturbance that will cause nearby sage to increase production of repellent chemical compounds.
Propagation Techniques Big Sagebrush is easily propagated by seed. Once established sage will generally remain in an area, though it can be outcompeted by invasive grasses, such as cheatgrass, in a new area.