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Sand Sagebrush

Sand Sagebrush

Sand sagebrush is a native low-growing shrub found in parts of the prairie. Sand sagebrush is in the Asteraceae family, which is also known as the sunflower family. It is readily recognized by its grayish colored herbage. It has an inflorescence of ray and white or pale yellow disk florets. Sand sagebrush is aromatic; when the leaves are dried and crushed it has a scent of mentholatum, characteristic of most species of sagebrush.

Sand sagebrush is usually found in mixed and shortgrass prairies. It flowers from July to October. Sand sagebrush is typically abundant on stabilized sand dunes or deep loose sands. Sand sagebrush is one of the only sagebrush species that is fire adapted and can tolerate periodic fire.

Heavy grazing around sand sagebrush increases its cover.

Pronghorn antelope and white-tailed deer sometimes eat sand sagebrush. It provides little forage value for cattle and is normally not eaten if other sufficient forage is present. Plants may cause sage sickness in horses.

Some small animals eat the leaves and achenes. White-tailed deer, wild turkey, Northern bobwhite, songbirds and other small mammals use sand sagebrush for cover.

Native Americans used the leaves for treatment of intestinal problems.