White Sagebrush (Ludoviciana)

The White Sagebrush (Ludoviciana) is generally described as a perennial subshrub or forb/herb. This is native to the U.S. (United States) has its most active growth period in the spring and summer . The greatest bloom is usually observed in the early spring, with fruit and seed production starting in the summer and continuing until fall. Leaves are not retained year to year. The White Sagebrush (Ludoviciana) has a short life span relative to most other plant species and a moderate growth rate. At maturity, the typical White Sagebrush (Ludoviciana) will reach up to 3 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 3 feet.

The White Sagebrush (Ludoviciana) is easily found in nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by container, cuttings, seed, sprigs. It has a moderate ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have high vigor. Note that cold stratification is not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below -33°F. has high tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.

General Characteristics

General: Sunflower Family (Asteraceae). White sage is a white-woolly, perennial herb 3-7 dm (1-2 1/4 ft) tall, with a strong odor of sagebrush. The stems are erect and often clustered from creeping rhizomes. The leaves are alternate, entire to irregularly toothed or lobed, 3-11 cm (1.25-4.5 in) long, up to 1.5 cm (9/16 in) wide. Flower heads are small tight greenish clusters among the leaves near the ends of the stems. White sage flowers from August through September. The fruits are dry, smooth, broadly cylindrical achenes. There are four subspecies of Artemisia ludoviciana (Hickman 1993).

Required Growing Conditions

White sage occurs from east of the Cascade Mountains in Washington and Oregon, in California, north to eastern Canada, south to Texas and northern Mexico, and in Montana, Utah, Colorado, and in the Great Plains states. For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

General Upkeep and Control

ARME"In areas managed for conifer timber production, Pacific madrone has been considered a “weedy” tree species. This is because it can out-compete replanting of timber species because of its ability to resprout from its stump or burl after disturbance. Interestingly, there is some evidence that Pacific madrone can facilitate growth of Douglas fir at some sites (McMurray 1989).

In natural areas, the situation is reversed from that of timber production areas. Pacific madrone depends on periodic fire to reduce the shading resulting from the closing conifer overstay. Fire suppression causes Pacific madrone to be out-competed by species that can better tolerate shade. Currently Pacific madrone is declining in many of these areas due to infrequent fires and other factors including drought, insects, and pathogens.

Pests and Potential Problems Insect pests include aphids, caterpillars, woodborers, and Madrone psyllid. The trees are susceptible to several fungal infections, which cause leaf diseases, root rot, and crown rot (Labadie 1978). Pacific madrone is also affected by “sudden oak death” caused by the introduced fungus, Phytophthora. To keep trees healthy, apply a thick layer of mulch to the root zone area beneath the crown and do not garden or compact this area in any way, avoid frequent irrigation, prune only from June to September (when the fungus and insects are less active), and fertilize if the tree shows signs of deficiency (Švihra et al. 2001).

Environmental Concerns Pacific madrone has been declining within its range in the Pacific Northwest in both urban and managed areas over the last 20 years (Bergendorf & Chalker-Scott 2001). The exact causes of the decline are unknown, but probably do to a combination of factors including soil compactions, fire suppression, drought, and introduced diseases.

Seed and Plant Production Pacific madrone is a prolific seed producer, which produces seed every year from the age of three to five years. One pound of seeds will produce approximately 1,000 plants (McMurray 1989). However, seedlings grow slowly and are highly susceptible to mortality. "

Plant Basics
Growth Rate Moderate
General Type Subshrub, Forb/herb
Growth Period Spring, Summer
Growth Duration Perennial
Lifespan Short
Plant Nativity Native to U.S.
Commercial Availability Routinely Available
Physical Characteristics
Bloom Period Early Spring
Displays Fall Colors No
Shape/Growth Form Rhizomatous
Drought Tolerance High
Shade Tolerance Intolerant
Height When Mature 3
Vegetative Spread Moderate
Flower Color White
Flower Conspicuousness No
Fruit/Seed Abundance High
Fruit/Seed Seasonality Summer Fall
Seed Spread Rate Moderate
Gardening Characteristics
Propagations (Ways to Grow) Container, Cuttings, Seed, Sprigs
Moisture Requirements Low
Cold Stratification Required No
Minimum Temperature -33
Soil Depth for Roots 8
Toxic to Nearby Plants No
Toxic to Livestock No
After-Harvest Regrowth Rate Moderate
After-Harvest Resprout Ability No
Responds to Coppicing No
Growth Requirements
pH Range 6–9 pH
Precipitation Range 10–10 inches/yr
Planting Density 4800–10000 indiv./acre
Soil Textures Coarse, Medium
Soil Depth for Roots 8
Minimum Frost-Free Days 70 day(s)
Salinity Tolerance High
CaCO3 Tolerance High
Sustainability & Use
Leaf Retention No
Palatability Medium
Fire Resistant No
Causes Livestock Bloating None

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database, plants.usda.gov.
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA