Prairie Sage (Artemisia Ludoviciana) - Found throughout the Tallgrass Prairie Region and well throughout North America. Can grow to 40 inches in height and prefers disturbed areas along roads and railways, dry areas on rocky, sandy or gravelly loams; blooms from August through September.
Thrives in mesic to dry soils and does best with a little bit of shade, though it does tolerate full sunlight well. Very aggressive in any plot.
Named in memory of Artemisia. wife of Mausolus, ancient king of Caria and ludoviciana from the latin form meaning "of Louisiana" (most likely "St. Louis" in this particular case).
|Sun Exposure||Savanna, Prairie|
|Soil Moisture||Mesic, Dry Mesic, Dry|
|Bloom Time||Summer, Fall
July, August, September
|Max. Height||3 - 4 feet|
|Germ Code||C(30), D|
|Seeds Per Packet||1000|
|Seeds Per Ounce||250,000|
Another one of the more widely used native prairie plants, Native Americans used Prairie Sage for both medicinal and ceremonial purposes. The Dakota Sioux liked using it to begin most of their ceremonies as they believed it drove away evil spirits. Some tribes believed that by bathing in Prairie Sage water, you could restore yourself to a normal status after breaking a taboo or touching a sacred object. Other Central Plains cultures used it as a bed for storing their pipes. Early settlers used it by burning it before the body of a deceased person was carried into the church for the funeral. It served as an incense in the days before embalming. An infusion of Prairie Sage was taken by Arikara women to stop profuse menstruation and relieve the associated pains. Other tribes used an infusion to help ease stomach pains and a tea made from this species was used by many other tribes to treat tonsillitis and sore throat. Still others used it in a poultice to treat open sores. Another use of burning prairie sage was to drive off mosquitoes and other pesky flying insects. Ironically, the sage we use today is not derived from this species or even this plant family. Our modern herb is a member of the Mint Family.
Leaves and flowering heads are used as a flavouring or garnish for sauces, gravies etc. A herb tea is made from the leaves and flowering heads. Seed. No further details are given but the seed is very small and fiddly to use.
The leaves are astringent. They were commonly used by the N. American Indians to induce sweating, curb pain and diarrhoea. A weak tea was used in the treatment of stomach ache and menstrual disorders. Externally, a wash of the leaves was applied to itching, rashes, swellings, boils, sores, etc. The wash was also applied to eczema and as an underarm deodorant. A poultice of the leaves can be applied to spider bites, blisters and burst boils. A snuff of the crushed leaves has been used to treat headaches, the sinuses and nosebleeds.
The plant can be burnt to repel mosquitoes. The plant makes a useful ground cover plant once it is established. The leaves can be placed in the shoes as a foot deodorant. An infusion of the leaves has been used as an underarm deodorant. The soft leaves can be used as a toilet paper.