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   These members of the Artemisia genus have the typical, distinctive, pungent sage sweetness. They are also a distinctive silvery-soft green. 

    Linnaeus named this genus in 1753.  Artemis was Apollo's twin sister and daughter of Zeus and Leto; she was the equivalent of the Greek Diana, goddess of the moon, the woods, and the wild, who, the legend states, derived so much good from plants of this kind that all such plants are named for her. 

     Intermountain Flora presents another etymology: the genus is named for Artemisia, historical Queen of Caria (in present day Turkey) who was a "noted botanist, medical researcher, and scholar".  She was named for the Greek god.  

   See also Artemisia scopulorum, Artemisia franserioides, Artemisia shrubs, and more Artemisia shrubs.

Artemisia carruthii

Artemisia carruthii (Carruth's Sagewort)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane. Meadows, gravels. Summer, fall.
Durango, September 28, 2011.

Artemisia carruthii is rhizomatous and spreads in loose patches.  It grows to several feet tall, is most often silvery hairy, and usually has very narrow divisions in its leaves. 

It is just in recent years that the plant has been positively identified in southwest Colorado, although it has been known from other counties in Colorado and the other Four Corners states. 

Although the plants shown on this page are noticeably different from Artemisia ludoviciana, one can see the resemblance. This resemblance can be so close that the two would be difficult to tell apart.

Artemisia carruthii was found in Kansas and named by 19th century botanist Alphonso Wood for his friend and sometime botanist, James Carruth, who described the plant in 1877.  (Wood was an eminent 19th century botanist who wrote Class-Book of Botany (click to read), which was second in influence and popularity (nearly one million copies were sold) only to Asa Gray's Elements of Botany.)  (Click for more biographical information about Carruth.)

Artemisia carruthii

Artemisia carruthii (Carruth's Sagewort)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane. Meadows, gravels. Summer, fall.
Durango, September 28, 2011.

Artemisia ludoviciana  Artemisia carruthii

Artemisia carruthii (Carruth's Sagewort)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane. Meadows, gravels. Summer, fall.
Durango, September 28, 2011.

Involucres of Artemisia ludoviciana (photograph at far left) are 2.5-4.5 millimeters high and 3-7 millimeters wide; those of Artemisia carruthii (right photograph) are 2.3-3 millimeters high and 2-2.5 wide. 

The flower heads of A. ludoviciana are numerous, shortly pedunculate to sessile, and often pendulous (according to some floras, but erect according some!); the flower heads of A. carruthii are also numerous and shortly pedunculate to sessile, but they are usually erect (according to some floras, but pendulous according to some!).

Artemisia carruthii Artemisia carruthii

Artemisia carruthii (Carruth's Sagewort)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane. Meadows, gravels. Summer, fall.
Durango, September 28, 2011.

Artemisia carruthii leaves are pinnate, cleft to the mid-rib in three very narrow divisions (.5-1.5 millimeters wide).

                                     Artemisia carruthii

A. ludoviciana has leaves that vary from deeply lobed (but with much wider divisions than those of A. carruthii, click to see), to entire leaves (1-10 millimeter wide, shown above left).

Flower heads of Artemisia carruthii contain just 1-5 pistillate florets and 7-25 bisexual florets. Each floret is just 1-2 mm long. Florets are pale yellow. Artemisia ludoviciana flower heads contain 5-12 pistillate florets and 6-45 bisexual florets. Each floret is 1.5-2.8 mm long. Florets are yellow.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Artemisia carruthii

Range map for Artemisia carruthii