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Prairie Sage Flower

Prairie Sage Flower

Prairie Sage Flower

Spreading by rhizomes, Prairie Sage can form dense colonies that give a distinctive silver-green accent to large plantings on sunny sites with mesic to dry soil. Its stems and foliage are covered with woolly gray or white hairs and topped by nodding clusters of yellowish disk flowers that bloom through summer. These flowers attract many pollinators. Prairie Sage is also one of the host plants for the American Lady and the Painted Lady. The plants reach heights of 3’ and are easily propagated by rhizome cuttings in spring, tip cuttings in early summer or by division of mature plants. This species is the Sage used in Sage Bundles for smudging and ceremonial purposes for many Native American tribes.

Prairie

A Prairie Moon • June 3 Hi Frank. I'm thinking of traditional plastic edging that is about 3" deep and, no, Prairie Sage can be quite aggressive and edging won't contain all of it. We have it here in a landscape setting and it jumps into the walkway every year so we contain it with a mower :) If you look at the root photo we have on this page, that is a 1st year plant and you can see the roots are at least 6". The leaves are aromatic when crushed. White Sage vaguely resembles Prairie Sagewort (Artemisia frigida) from a distance, but the latter has small leaves deeply lobed in linear segments, is more clump forming, and usually rather shorter. Also similar is Sawtooth Wormwood (Artemisia serrata), which has toothed leaves that are dark green on the upper surface and white on the underside, and hairless stems below the flower cluster. There are about 7 subspecies of A. ludoviciana (or more depending on the reference), most of which are native to western and southwestern North America. Subsp. ludoviciana is the most common, found throughout the US and Canada, and is the species found in Minnesota.

Prairie Sage seeds spring up naturally on dry slopes, canyons, open woods, and dry prairies. Its silvery foliage is a food source for animals such as grouse, jackrabbits, antelope, and pronghorn. This plant was one of the most commonly used by Native American tribes, who had numerous medicinal and ceremonial purposes for prairie sage. Burning dried bundles of sage was believed to have a cleansing effect, and took place at the start of traditional ceremonies as well as in sweat lodges. Infusions of the leaves often benefited sore throat or stomach cramps, while breathing in the vapors brought relief for respiratory problems. Interestingly, prairie sage belongs to an entirely different plant family than culinary sage; the FDA has classified prairie sage as unsafe for internal use, since it contains substances that can be dangerous in large doses. You can still buy these herb seeds online for an herb garden. Sowing: Direct sow prairie sage seeds on the surface of the soil in late fall. For spring planting, stratify by mixing the seed with moist sand and storing it in the refrigerator for 30 days before direct sowing. To start indoors after stratifying, sow the seed on the surface of a flat; keep it lightly moist and at a temperature of 65-70 degrees F until germination. Transplant seedlings as soon as they develop a good root system. (Source: www.everwilde.com)

 

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