Artemisia pygmaea A. Gray
Family: Asteraceae
pygmy sagebrush
[Seriphidium pygmaeum (A. Gray) W.A. Weber]
Artemisia pygmaea image
Gary A. Monroe  
Shrubs, 5-10 cm, slightly aromatic; not root-sprouting (caudices coarsely woody, branched). Stems pale to light brown (stiffly erect, densely clothed with appressed foliage), sparsely tomentose. Leaves persistent (sessile, rigid), bright green; blades oblong to ovate, 0.3-0.5 × 0.2-0.3 cm, pinnately lobed (nearly to midribs, 1/3+ widths of blades, lobes 3-7, divergent), faces glabrous or sparsely tomentose, resinous. Heads (sessile, erect) in paniculiform to racemiform arrays (1-)2-3 × 0.5-1 cm. Involucres narrowly turbinate, 2-3 × 3-4 mm. Phyllaries (green) narrowly lanceolate (midribs prominent), glabrous or sparsely tomentose. Florets 2-6; corollas 2.5-3 mm, glandular (style branches flat, erose, exsert). Cypselae (prismatic) 0.4-0.5 mm, glabrous, resinous. 2n = 18. Flowering mid summer-fall. Fine-textured soils of gypsum or shale; 1500-1800 m; Ariz., Colo., Nev., N.Mex., Utah. Artemisia pygmaea is a distinctive, faintly aromatic shrublet, often mistaken for something other than a sagebrush. In early spring its stiff, bright green, deeply pinnatifid leaves are reminiscent of some prickly member of Polemoniaceae. After flowering, its heads and narrow panicles easily identify it as a member of Artemisia; it is unlike other members of the subgenus (which typically have 3-lobed leaves in fascicled lateral shoots). The molecular analysis by L. E. Watson et al. (2002) supported its phylogenetic alignment within subg. Tridentatae.

Artemisia pygmaea image
Gary A. Monroe  
Artemisia pygmaea image
Daniela Roth  
Artemisia pygmaea image
Daniela Roth