Much-branched gray-green shrub with pungent sagelike aroma; with short, thick trunk or a few stems rising from base. Leaves evergreen. Height: 1.5-15 ft (0.5-4.5 m).
Deep, fine soils in arid basins and on mountain slopes to near timberline; often with piñons and junipers.
British Columbia east to North Dakota, south to southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico.
Before the coming of white settlers to the West, bunchgrasses and sagebrush together formed vast steppes, with the shrubs distinctly subordinate. Now, overgrazing has made sagebrush the dominant plant.