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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Miscellaneous Details

Notes: Grown in gardens. Native of Europe
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Description

General: Sunflower Family (Asteraceae). Tarragon is a native perennial herb (5-15 dm tall). The stems form clusters and are reddish in color. They can be smooth or covered with short hairs. The leaves are linear to linear-lanceolate. The leaves range in size from 2-8 cm long and up to 6 mm wide. The inflorescences are branched and elongated with pedicellate flowers that mature from the bottom up. Both the whorl of bracts subtending the flower and the stalk of the inflorescence are hairless. The outer florets are fertile but lack stamens. The center florets are sterile.

Distribution: For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

Habitat: Tarragon is found in dry open places. Common in areas of disturbance, tarragon, increases in frequency where disturbance results in decreased competition.

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Alternative names

False tarragon, dragon sagewort

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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Maharashtra: Pune
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States or Provinces

(key to state/province abbreviations)
UNITED STATES
AK AZ CA CO CT ID IL
IA KS MA MN MO MT NE
NV NJ NM ND OR SD TX
UT WA WI WY

CANADA
AB BC MB ON SK YK

MEXICO
Chic.

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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

More info on this topic.

This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS [8]:

2 Cascade Mountains

3 South Pacific Border

4 Sierra Mountains

5 Columbia Plateau

6 Upper Basin and Range

7 Lower Basin and Range

8 Northern Rocky Mountains

9 Middle Rocky Mountains

10 Wyoming Basin

11 Southern Rocky Mountains

12 Colorado Plateau

13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont

14 Great Plains

15 Black Hills Uplift

16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands
  • 8. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434]

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Tarragon is a widely distributed species with a range that extends east from southern Alaska to Manitoba and south to northern Mexico [2,41,45,52,58,79]. Its distribution also includes Eurasia, with common occurrences in central Asia and Siberia [45]. A distributional map of tarragon can be accessed through Plants database.
  • 2. Anderson, J. P. 1959. Flora of Alaska and adjacent parts of Canada. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press. 543 p. [9928]
  • 41. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 45. Hall, Harvey M.; Clements, Frederic E. 1923. The phylogenetic method in taxonomy: the North American species of Artemisia, Chrysothamnus, and Atriplex. Publication No. 326. Washington, DC: The Carnegie Institute of Washington. 355 p. [43183]
  • 52. Herkert, James R., editor. 1991. Endangered and threatened species of Illinois: status and distribution: Volume 1--Plants. Springfield, IL: Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board. 158 p. [23837]
  • 58. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p. [1168]
  • 79. Martin, William C.; Hutchins, Charles R. 1981. A flora of New Mexico. Volume 2. Germany: J. Cramer. 2589 p. [37176]

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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Artemisia dracunculoides var. wolfii Rydb.:
Mexico (Mesoamerica)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Artemisia glauca var. glauca :
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Artemisia glauca var. dracunculina (S. Watson) Fernald:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Artemisia dracunculus L.:
Afghanistan (Asia)
Canada (North America)
India (Asia)
Kazakhstan (Asia)
Mongolia (Asia)
Pakistan (Asia)
United States (North America)
China (Asia)
Russian Federation (Asia)
Tajikistan (Asia)
Mexico (Mesoamerica)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Artemisia dracunculina S. Watson:
Mexico (Mesoamerica)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Global Range: A. dracunculus occurs in eastern Europe and Asia, and throughout much of western North America, south from Alaska to northern Mexico, and westwards from Ontario, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Texas (USDA-NRCS 1999, Great Plains Flora Association 1986, Hulten 1968, Kartesz 1999). A. dracunculus also in occurs in New York and a few adjoining states (USDA-NRCS 1999), though these may represent more recent human introductions, as they are not listed in earlier journals (Gleason and Cronquist 1963). The Alaskan and many European populations may also result from human introductions (Hulten 1968). The taxon present in Manitoba is Artemisia dracunculus ssp. glauca, where it is at its northeastern limit and occurs in the southern third of the province, west of the Red River valley (Manitoba Conservation Data Centre).

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Distribution: Europe eastwards to Siberia, China, Mongolia and North America (probably introduced and naturalized).
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Adaptation

Tarragon is a fire-adapted species. It is top-killed by low-intensity fire, however, it is able to reestablish quickly from surviving rhizomes.

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the terms: adventitious, shrub, xeric

The following description of tarragon has been compiled from the following sources unless otherwise noted [1,2,7,20,41,42,45,46,62,64,79,89,116,124,127]. This description provides characteristics that may be relevant to fire ecology, and is not meant for identification. Keys for identifying tarragon are available [2,7,42,45,62,124].

Tarragon is a woody, native perennial shrub with stem heights ranging from 15.7 to 59.1 inches (40-150 cm). Aerial stems arise from thick, horizontal rhizomes growing in clusters and singly. Leaves are alternate, 0.5 to 3.1 inches long (1.2-8.0 cm), and 0.04 to 0.24 inch (1-6 mm) wide. Basal leaves are cleft with 1 to 3 lobes. The inflorescence is a panicle with numerous flowers. Outer florets are pistillate and fertile, central flowers are sterile, and ovaries are abortive. The seeds are achenes. Seed size is approximately 0.06 inch (1.5 mm) in length.

Tarragon supports large numbers of adventitious roots containing interxylary cork (formed within xylem tissue), offering the plant protection in xeric habitats [89]. One individual in Los Alamos, New Mexico was found to have a rooting depth of 83.9 inches (213 cm) [38]. Tarragon forms associations with vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae [96].

  • 2. Anderson, J. P. 1959. Flora of Alaska and adjacent parts of Canada. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press. 543 p. [9928]
  • 7. Bare, Janet E. 1979. Wildflowers and weeds of Kansas. Lawrence, KS: The Regents Press of Kansas. 509 p. [3801]
  • 38. Foxx, Teralene S.; Tierney, Gail D. 1987. Rooting patterns in the pinyon-juniper woodland. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 69-79. [4790]
  • 41. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 42. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 45. Hall, Harvey M.; Clements, Frederic E. 1923. The phylogenetic method in taxonomy: the North American species of Artemisia, Chrysothamnus, and Atriplex. Publication No. 326. Washington, DC: The Carnegie Institute of Washington. 355 p. [43183]
  • 46. Hammond, Catherine R. 1976. A gallery of herbs: A botanical guide to some common and uncommon herbs. Horticulture. 54(3): 52-63. [3025]
  • 62. Hulten, Eric. 1968. Flora of Alaska and neighboring territories. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1008 p. [13403]
  • 64. Johnson, James R.; Nichols, James T. 1970. Plants of South Dakota grasslands: A photographic study. Bull. 566. Brookings, SD: South Dakota State University, Agricultural Experiment Station. 163 p. [18500]
  • 79. Martin, William C.; Hutchins, Charles R. 1981. A flora of New Mexico. Volume 2. Germany: J. Cramer. 2589 p. [37176]
  • 89. Moss, E. H. 1940. Interxylary cork in Artemisia with a reference to its taxonomic significance. American Journal of Botany. 27(9): 762-768. [48735]
  • 96. Pendleton, R. I.; Smith, B. N. 1983. Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae of weedy and colonizer plant species at disturbed sites in Utah. Oecologia. 59: 296-301. [44055]
  • 116. Stubbendieck, James; Coffin, Mitchell J.; Landholt, L. M. 2003. Weeds of the Great Plains. 3rd ed. Lincoln, NE: Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry. 605 p. In cooperation with: University of Nebraska - Lincoln. [50776]
  • 124. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 127. Wiggins, Ira L. 1980. Flora of Baja California. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1025 p. [21993]
  • 1. Agro Dynamics. 2005. Hydroponic herb growing instruction: Tarragon - perennial, [Online]. In: Hydroponics 101. Grodan Inc. (Producer). Available: http://www.hydroponics 101.com/sw47715.asp [2005, July 27]. [53841]
  • 20. Cronquist, Arthur; Holmgren, Arthur H.; Holmgren, Noel H.; [and others]. 1994. Intermountain flora: Vascular plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 5. Asterales. New York: The New York Botanical Garden. 496 p. [28653]

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Description

Perennials or subshrubs, 50–120(–150) cm, strongly tarragon-scented or not aromatic; rhizomatous, caudices coarse. Stems relatively numerous, erect, green to brown or reddish brown, somewhat woody, glabrous. Leaves: proximal blades bright green and glabrous or gray-green and sparsely hairy, 5–8 cm; cauline blades bright green (gray-green in desert forms), linear, lanceolate, or oblong, 1–7 × 0.1–0.5(–0.9) cm, mostly entire, sometimes irregularly lobed, acute, usually glabrous, sometimes glabrescent (deserts). Heads in terminal or lateral, leafy, paniculiform arrays 15–45 × 6–30 cm; appearing ball-like on slender, sometimes nodding peduncles. Involucres globose, 2–3 × 2–3.5(–6) mm. Phyllaries (light brown, broadly lanceolate, membranous): margins broadly hyaline, glabrous. Florets: pistillate 6–25; functionally staminate 8–20; corollas pale yellow, 1.8–2 mm, eglandular or sparsely glandular. Cypselae oblong, 0.5–0.8 mm, faintly nerved, glabrous. 2. = 18.
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Description

Perennial, strongly aromatic to inodorous, 20-100 (-150) cm tall herb, with erect or ascending, costate-striate, greenish-yellow, sparsely hairy to glabrous stems. Leaves short stalked to sessile, mostly undivided, occasionally lower 3-5-cleft, usually glabrous, sometimes sparsely appressed canescent, linear-lanceolate to occasionally ± oblanceolate, 2-8 cm x (1-) 2-8 (-10) mm, entire, acute; upper ones mostly simple, much reduced in floral region. Capitula numerous, heterogamous, globose, 2-3 x 3-4 mm, remote to approximate, nodding on curved, 1-2 mm long, hairy or glabrous peduncles, in leafy, narrow panicle with ascending to erect, sometimes appressed, up to 10 cm long branches. Involucre 3-seriate, phyllaries glabrous, outermost oblong, c. 2.5 x 1 mm, obtuse, inner ones broadly elliptic, c. 3.5 x 2 mm, broadly whitish scarious, obtuse. Receptacle conico-hemispherical, glabrous. Florets up to 40, yellow; marginal-florets 6-15, fertile, with 0.5-1 mm long, glandulose, 2-fid corolla; disc-florets 10-20, bisexual, sterile, with campanulate, 2-2.5 mm long, 5-toothed corolla. Cypselas brown, ellipsoid, 0.6-1 mm long.
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

Habit: Herb
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Synonym

Artemisia aromatica A. Nelson; A. dracunculina S. Watson; A. dracunculoides Pursh; A. dracunculoides subsp. dracunculina (S. Watson) H. M. Hall & Clements; A. glauca Pallas ex Willdenow; A. glauca var. megacephala B. Boivin
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Synonym

A. simplicifolia Pamp., Lav. Ist. Bot. Reale Univ. Cagliari 22: 174. 1934; A. dracunculus var. inodora Bess. in Bull. Soc. Nat. Mosc. 8: 54. 1835; Oligosporus dracunculus (L.) Poljakov, l. c. 11: 166.
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Type Information

Type fragment for Artemisia dracunculina S. Watson
Catalog Number: US 47378
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): C. G. Pringle
Year Collected: 1887
Locality: Sierra Madre., Chihuahua, Mexico, North America
  • Type fragment: Watson, S. 1888. Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts. 23: 279.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat characteristics

More info for the terms: shrubs, xeric

Tarragon has a wide distribution that encompasses a variety of site characteristics. It can be found in riparian zones [81], on floodplains and terraces [47,78], and at high mountain elevations [15,90,124]. It occurs in open, often dry places [58] associated with soils ranging from dry and sandy to moist and silty [116]. It is found over the plains grasslands where conditions are favorable for shrubs [83] and on shaded mountainous slopes [10]. It tolerates temperatures ranging from -48 ºF to 111 ºF (-44 ºC to 44 ºC ), soil pH values from 4.9 to 8.9 [57,112], and a precipitation range of 5.7 to 51.2 inches (145-1300 mm) [16,112]. Additional site characteristics are provided in the table below:

State or
province
Location description Elevation range Precipitation range
AK Rocky slopes and roadsides [62] ---- ----
AZ Deep, well drained cinder soils [39]
Rocky, arid ranges [15]
3,600-7,550 ft (1,097-2,301 m) [10,15,39] 6.8-26.0 inches (173-660 mm) [39]
CA Arid mesas, hillsides, pine woodlands, and meadows [127]
Sandy, rocky alluvia [47]
Outwash fans and riverine deposits [47]
Dry sandy to gravelly soils from granitic parent material [91]
7,300-11,000 ft (2,225-3,353 m) [90,91] average 18.1 inches (460 mm) [47]
CO Upland loess deposits [74]
Undeveloped rocky and gravelly soils [82]
Sandy, dry marshes and riparian areas [50,113]
Well drained shale sediment [88]
1,325-10,300 ft (404-3,139 m) [27,50,104,113] average 8.5-12.3 inches (215-312 mm) [50,113]
ID Limestone derived from Paleozoic marine rocks [25]
Abandoned hayfields and pastures created in riparian zones [95]
---- ----
IL Dry sand and gravel prairies and barrens [52] ---- ----
KS Upland loess deposits [74] ---- ----
MT Stony, shallow, well-drained soils [44]
Mesoxeric to xeric dry valley zones [71]
Silt loam soils [48]
Medium to coarse-textured soils [33]
Steep, rocky, wind blown slopes with little vegetation [109]
3,000-8,202 ft (914-2,500 m) [27,44,48,81] average 11.6-50+ inches (294-1270 mm) [29,44,48]
NE Upland loess deposits [74] ---- average 22.0 inches (560 mm) [21]
NM Dry open slopes and plains [79]
Gentle slopes, sandy loam to sandy in texture [18]
Erosion channel bisecting a floodplain [22]
5,387-8,000 ft (1,642-2,438 m) [18,38,79] average 8.1-15.0 inches (206-380 mm) [18,22]
NV Stream benches, elevated terraces, meadow seeps and floodplains [78] 5,052-10,203 ft (1,540-3,110 m) [78]
ND Upland loess deposits
Fluvial sand and gravel capped with aeolian sand and silt [19]
Fine textured shallow soils; Rolling sandy uplands with well-drained soils; uplands and flat terraces with loam to clay soils; level or hummocky terraces with loam to clay soils [57]
Excessively drained, poorly structured sandy and sandy loam soils [16]
Silty range site; glacial till site; silty ridges and hilltops [103]
---- 5.7-27.0 inches (145-686 mm) [16,19]
SD Upland loess deposits [74]
Well developed limestone derived soil [92]
---- ----
TX ---- 1,000-8,751 ft (305-2,667 m) [56,100] ----
UT Xeric portions of prairie vegetation types [115]
Mid-elevation open mountain slopes [118]
4,003-11,000 ft (1,220-3,353 m) [27,49,124] 10.0-18.0 inches (254-456 mm) [49]
WA Gravelly, sandy loam with moderate permeability [110] 1,099 ft (335 m) [110] average 18.1-24.0 inches (460-610 mm) [110]
WY ---- 3,700-8,400 ft (1,128-2,560 m) [27] ----
AB ---- 3,300-4,000 ft (1,006-1,219 m) [12] ----
BC ---- 1,312-3,117 ft (400-950 m) [76] ----
  • 27. Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p. [806]
  • 10. Bowers, Janice E.; McLaughlin, Steven P. 1987. Flora and vegetation of the Rincon Mountains, Pima County, Arizona. Desert Plants. 8(2): 50-94. [495]
  • 12. Breitung, August J. 1954. A botanical survey of the Cypress Hills. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 68: 55-92. [6262]
  • 15. Buegge, J. Jeremy. 2001. Flora of the Santa Teresa Mountains in Graham County, Arizona. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science. 33(2): 132-149. [45078]
  • 16. Burgess, Robert L. 1965. A study of plant succession in the sandhills of southeastern North Dakota. In: 57th annual proceedings of the North Dakota Academy of Science; 1965 May 7-8; Grand Forks, ND. Fargo, ND: North Dakota State University of Agriculture and Applied Science: 62-80. [4471]
  • 18. Carlson, Stan R.; Whitford, Walter G. 1991. Ant mound influence on vegetation and soils in a semiarid mountain ecosystem. The American Midland Naturalist. 126(1): 125-139. [50251]
  • 19. Clambey, Gary K. 1992. Ecological aspects of the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, west-central North Dakota. In: Smith, Daryl D.; Jacobs, Carol A., eds. Recapturing a vanishing heritage: Proceedings, 12th North American prairie conference; 1990 August 5-9; Cedar Falls, IA. Cedar Falls, IA: University of Northern Iowa: 75-78. [24719]
  • 21. Cullan, Andrew P.; Reece, Patrick E.; Schacht, Walter H. 1999. Early summer grazing effects on defoliation and tiller demography of prairie sandreed. Journal of Range Management. 52(5): 447-453. [41384]
  • 22. Cully, Anne C.; Cully, Jack F., Jr. 1989. Spatial and temporal variability in perennial and annual vegetation at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. The Great Basin Naturalist. 49(1): 113-122. [6742]
  • 25. Davis, Cleve. 2003. Plant species of the Deep Creek Mountains. Technical Bulletin No. 03-5. Boise, ID: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Idaho State Office. 22 p. [45856]
  • 29. Dolan, John Joseph. 1966. Long-term responses of dense clubmoss (Selaginella densa Rydb.) to range renovation practices in northern Montana. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 83 p. Thesis. [12330]
  • 38. Foxx, Teralene S.; Tierney, Gail D. 1987. Rooting patterns in the pinyon-juniper woodland. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 69-79. [4790]
  • 39. Fule, Peter Z.; Springer, Judith D.; Huffman, David W.; Covington, W. Wallace. 2001. Response of a rare endemic, Penstemon clutei, to burning and reduced belowground competition. In: Maschinski, Joyce; Holter, Louella, tech. coords. Southwestern rare and endangered plants: Proceedings of the 3rd conference; 2000 September 25-28; Flagstaff, AZ. Proceedings RMRS-P-23. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 139-152. [40601]
  • 44. Habeck, James R. 1980. Mormon Ridge fire ecology/game range restoration project. Missoula, MT: Lolo National Forest, Missoula Ranger District; Contract completion report. On file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Lab, Missoula, MT. 26 p. [5293]
  • 47. Hanes, Ted L.; Friesen, Richard D.; Keane, Kathy. 1989. Alluvial scrub vegetation in coastal southern California. In: Protection, management, and restoration for the 1990's: Proceedings of the California Riparian Systems conference; 1988 September 22-24; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-110. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 187-193. [13882]
  • 48. Hansen, John Jesse. 1987. Effect of stock density on ground cover on a southwest Montana foothills rangeland. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 65 p. Thesis. [46909]
  • 49. Harper, K. T.; Sanderson, Stewart C.; McArthur, E. Durant. 2001. Quantifying plant diversity in Zion National Park, Utah. In: McArthur, E. Durant; Fairbanks, Daniel J., compilers. Shrubland ecosystem genetics and biodiversity: proceedings; 2000 June 13-15; Provo, UT. Proc. RMRS-P-21. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 318-324. [41997]
  • 50. Hazlett, Donald L.; Sawyer, Neil W. 1998. Distribution of alkaloid-rich plant species in shortgrass steppe vegetation. Conservation Biology. 12(6): 1260-1268. [49041]
  • 52. Herkert, James R., editor. 1991. Endangered and threatened species of Illinois: status and distribution: Volume 1--Plants. Springfield, IL: Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board. 158 p. [23837]
  • 56. Hinckley, L. C. 1944. The vegetation of the Mount Livermore area in Texas. The American Midland Naturalist. 32: 236-250. [4451]
  • 57. Hirsch, Kathie Jean. 1985. Habitat classification of grasslands and shrublands of southwestern North Dakota. Fargo, ND: North Dakota State University. 281 p. Dissertation. [40326]
  • 58. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p. [1168]
  • 62. Hulten, Eric. 1968. Flora of Alaska and neighboring territories. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1008 p. [13403]
  • 71. Lackschewitz, Klaus. 1986. Plants of west-central Montana--identification and ecology: annotated checklist. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-217. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 128 p. [2955]
  • 74. Lauver, Chris L.; Kindscher, Kelly; Faber-Langendoen, Don; Schneider, Rick. 1999. A classification of the natural vegetation of Kansas. The Southwestern Naturalist. 44(4): 421-443. [38847]
  • 76. Lloyd, D.; Angove, K.; Hope, G.; Thompson, C. 1990. A guide to site identification and interpretation for the Kamloops Forest Region. Part 1. Land Management Handbook No. 23. Victoria, BC: British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Research Branch. 191 p. [37061]
  • 78. Manning, Mary E.; Padgett, Wayne G. 1995. Riparian community type classification for Humboldt and Toiyabe National Forests, Nevada and eastern California. R4-Ecol-95-01. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Region. 306 p. [42196]
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  • 81. McCarthy, Judith Colleen. 1996. A floristic survey of the Pryor Mountains, Montana. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 93 p. Thesis. [46912]
  • 82. McGinnies, William J.; Shantz, Homer L.; McGinnies, William G. 1991. Changes in vegetation and land use in eastern Colorado: A photographic study, 1904 to 1986. ARS-85. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 165 p. [18824]
  • 83. McKell, Cyrus M.; Goodin, J. R. 1975. US arid shrublands in perspective. In: Hyder, Donald N., ed. Arid shrublands--proceedings, 3rd workshop of the United States/Australia rangelands panel; 1973 March 26 - April 15; Tucson, AZ. Denver, CO: Society for Range Management: 12-18. [1614]
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  • 92. Pase, Charles E.; Thilenius, John F. 1968. Composition, production, and site factors of some grasslands in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Res. Note RM-103. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 8 p. [5744]
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  • 115. Stoddart, L. A. 1941. The palouse grassland association in northern Utah. Ecology. 22(2): 158-163. [2258]
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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the terms: cactus, constancy, cover, forb, forbs, frequency, shrub

Canada: In Alberta, tarragon is associated with riverine environments.
It can be found in river terrace depressions with thickspike wheatgrass(Elymus lanceolatus),
slender wheatgrass (Elymus trachycaulus),
and prairie flax (Linum lewisii). In southern Alberta, on an alluvial fan in the Kootenay
Plains where fringed sagebrush (Artemisia
frigida) and prairie Junegrass (Koeleria macrantha) were plentiful,
tarragon made up 16%-25% of the ground cover [122]. In
southwestern Saskatchewan and neighboring southeastern Alberta, tarragon was
found with green needlegrass (Nassella viridula),
Indian ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides),
and creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis) [12]. In
southern British Columbia, big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)
and bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata)
were found on sites supporting tarragon populations [76].

Northwestern United States:
In Montana, tarragon is associated with sagebrush-bluebunch wheatgrass (Artemisia
spp.) communities. Other
species within this community include soapweed yucca (Yucca glauca),
broom snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae), sideoats grama (Bouteloua
curtipendula), and blue grama (B. gracilis).
Tarragon is also found within the skunkbush sumac (Rhus trilobata)/bluebunch
wheatgrass community. Additional species in this community include soapweed
yucca, wax currant (Ribes cereum) and buckwheat (Eriogonum spp.) [13]. Forbs associated with tarragon include ninebark (Physocarpus malvaceus)
and common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) in Montana [44] and rubber
rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus) in Wyoming [51]. Tarragon can also
be found within Pacific ponderosa pine stands (Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa) [14,44].
Southwestern United States:
In the southwestern states, tarragon is found in pinyon-juniper (Pinus-Juniperus
spp.) woodland and interior ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum)
forest types [38,39,55,124]. In interior ponderosa pine
forests, it occurs with mountain muhly (Muhlenbergia montana), western
wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii), and western yarrow (Achillea
millefolium) [94]. In Arizona it occurs alongside rubber rabbitbrush,
Apache-plume (Fallugia paradoxa), beardlip penstemon (Penstemon
barbatus), and common mullein (Verbascum thapsus) [39], and has been
identified at Oregon Pipe Cactus National Monument [98]. Plant associates in New
Mexico include goldenweed (Pyrrocoma spp.), prairie sagebrush (Artemisia
frigida), tailcup lupine (Lupinus caudataus), gayfeather (Liatris
punctata), alfalfa (Medicago sativa), rubber rabbitbrush, sandbar
willow (Salix exigua), and black greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus) [22,37,38]. In southwestern New Mexico, tarragon was present 44 years after
cessation of livestock grazing, occurring in the boxelder-Arizona alder (Acer
negundo-Alnus oblongifolia) community type [84].
In Utah tarragon is associated with quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides),
fir-spruce (Picea-Abies spp.), salt desert shrub, and hanging
garden communities. It can be found with rubber rabbitbrush, sagebrush (Artemisia
spp.), menziesia (Menziesia ferruginea), and wildrye (Elymus spp.) [124]. In Zion National Park tarragon is both common and modal in abandoned
fields [49] and constitutes 2% of cover in quaking aspen communities [125]. In
northern Utah it occurs on mountain grasslands where bluebunch wheatgrass is
dominant [115].
In Colorado tarragon is found in marshes along the Colorado River with bushy
bluestem (Andropogon glomeratus),
yellow salsify (Tragopogon dubius),
and dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) [113]. It occurs within 4 steppe communities in the foothills of the Colorado
Front Range, constituting 0% cover and 1% frequency in big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii),
porcupine grass (Hesperostipa spartea), and New Mexico feathergrass (H. neomexicana) communities and
4% cover and 34% frequency in the
needle-and-thread grass (H. comata) community [88]. It
has been found in little bluestem-sideoats grama (Schizachyrium scoparium-Bouteloua
curtipendula) community types [74] and on a disturbed site with Thurber fescue (Festuca thurberi),
western yarrow, and dandelion [73].
In Nevada tarragon is found predominantly in the willow (Salix spp.)
community types. It is associated primarily with stream benches, but also occurs
on terraces, floodplains, seeps, and meadows. Its highest percentage and
greatest range of average cover (1%-35%) occurs in the
yellow willow (S. lutea)-mesic forb community type while its
highest constancy occurs in the conifer-mesic forb
community type [78]. In Texas, tarragon is found with manyflowered stoneseed (Lithospermum multiflorum)
on Mount Livermore [56].
Great Plains: In North Dakota, South Dakota,
Nebraska, and Kansas, tarragon occurs in the little bluestem-sideoats grama
community type [74]. It is found in the Black Hills of South Dakota with sedges
(Carex spp.), blue grama, western wheatgrass, and Japanese brome (Bromus
japonicus) [92], and occurs in the tallgrass prairie systems with big
bluestem, little bluestem, Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans), and
switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) [53]. In Nebraska, it associates with
prairie sandreed (Calamovilfa longifolia), sand bluestem (A. gerardii
var. paucipilus), and little bluestem [21].
Tarragon in the northern Great Plains can be found with western wheatgrass,
blue grama, needle-and-thread grass, and mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia
tridentata var. vaseyana) [61]. In green needlegrass communities of
western North Dakota, it is associated with blue lettuce (Lactuca pulchella) [103] and prairie reedgrass (Calamovilfa longifolia) [28].
Tarragon in southwestern North Dakota is associated with multiple habitat and
community types. One of the habitat types in which tarragon is dominant is the
prairie sandreed-threadleaf sedge (Carex filifolia)-needle-and-thread
grass habitat, where rush skeletonplant (Lygodesmia
juncea) is a characteristic forb. The 2nd type in which tarragon is
characteristic is the needle-and-thread grass-threadleaf sedge-needleleaf sedge-sun
sedge (Carex duriuscula-C. heliophila) habitat, where
fringed sagebrush and prairie sage (Artemisia ludoviciana) are
characteristic forbs. Other habitat types where tarragon was found include
mountain big sagebrush-blue grama, mountain big sagebrush-shadscale (Atriplex
confertifolia), sand bluestem-prairie sandreed, western
wheatgrass-needle-and-thread, western wheatgrass-blue grama, and
little bluestem-creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis)
[57]. The community types that tarragon is associated with in southwestern
North Dakota include prairie sandreed-needle-and-thread grass-threadleaf sedge,
western wheatgrass-needle-and-thread grass-blue grama, western wheatgrass-green
needlegrass-blue grama, western wheatgrass-blue grama-buffalo grass (Buchloe
dactyloides), and little bluestem-needle-and-thread grass-threadleaf sedge
[126].
  • 12. Breitung, August J. 1954. A botanical survey of the Cypress Hills. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 68: 55-92. [6262]
  • 13. Brown, Ray W. 1971. Distribution of plant communities in southeastern Montana badlands. The American Midland Naturalist. 85(2): 458-477. [546]
  • 14. Brown, Raymond William, Jr. 1965. The distribution of plant communities in the badlands of southeastern Montana. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 145 p. Thesis. [46903]
  • 21. Cullan, Andrew P.; Reece, Patrick E.; Schacht, Walter H. 1999. Early summer grazing effects on defoliation and tiller demography of prairie sandreed. Journal of Range Management. 52(5): 447-453. [41384]
  • 22. Cully, Anne C.; Cully, Jack F., Jr. 1989. Spatial and temporal variability in perennial and annual vegetation at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. The Great Basin Naturalist. 49(1): 113-122. [6742]
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  • 37. Foxx, Teralene S. 1996. Vegetation succession after the La Mesa Fire at Bandelier National Monument. In: Allen, Craig D., ed. Fire effects in southwestern forests: Proceedings, 2nd La Mesa fire symposium; 1994 March 29-31; Los Alamos, NM. RM-GTR-286. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 47-69. [27283]
  • 38. Foxx, Teralene S.; Tierney, Gail D. 1987. Rooting patterns in the pinyon-juniper woodland. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 69-79. [4790]
  • 39. Fule, Peter Z.; Springer, Judith D.; Huffman, David W.; Covington, W. Wallace. 2001. Response of a rare endemic, Penstemon clutei, to burning and reduced belowground competition. In: Maschinski, Joyce; Holter, Louella, tech. coords. Southwestern rare and endangered plants: Proceedings of the 3rd conference; 2000 September 25-28; Flagstaff, AZ. Proceedings RMRS-P-23. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 139-152. [40601]
  • 44. Habeck, James R. 1980. Mormon Ridge fire ecology/game range restoration project. Missoula, MT: Lolo National Forest, Missoula Ranger District; Contract completion report. On file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Lab, Missoula, MT. 26 p. [5293]
  • 49. Harper, K. T.; Sanderson, Stewart C.; McArthur, E. Durant. 2001. Quantifying plant diversity in Zion National Park, Utah. In: McArthur, E. Durant; Fairbanks, Daniel J., compilers. Shrubland ecosystem genetics and biodiversity: proceedings; 2000 June 13-15; Provo, UT. Proc. RMRS-P-21. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 318-324. [41997]
  • 51. Hepworth, Bill. 1965. Investigation of pronghorn antelope in Wyoming. In: Proceedings of the 1st annual antelope states workshop; 1965 April 14-15; Santa Fe, NM. Santa Fe, NM: New Mexico Department of Fish and Game: 1-12. [25720]
  • 53. Higgins, Jeremy J.; Larson, Gary E.; Higgins, Kenneth F. 2001. Floristic comparisons of tallgrass prairie remnants managed by different land stewardships in eastern South Dakota. In: Bernstein, Neil P.; Ostrander, Laura J., eds. Seeds for the future; roots of the past: Proceedings of the 17th North American prairie conference; 2000 July 16-20; Mason City, IA. Mason City, IA: North Iowa Area Community College: 21-31. [46489]
  • 55. Hill, Alison; Pieper, Rex D.; Southward, G. Morris. 1992. Habitat-type classification of the pinyon-juniper woodlands in western New Mexico. Bulletin 766. Las Cruces, NM: New Mexico State University, College of Agriculture and Home Economics, Agricultural Experiment Station. 80 p. [37374]
  • 56. Hinckley, L. C. 1944. The vegetation of the Mount Livermore area in Texas. The American Midland Naturalist. 32: 236-250. [4451]
  • 57. Hirsch, Kathie Jean. 1985. Habitat classification of grasslands and shrublands of southwestern North Dakota. Fargo, ND: North Dakota State University. 281 p. Dissertation. [40326]
  • 61. Holscher, Clark E.; Woolfolk, E. J. 1953. Forage utilization by cattle on northern Great Plains ranges. Circular No. 918. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 27 p. [5205]
  • 73. Langenheim, Jean H. 1956. Plant succession on a subalpine earthflow in Colorado. Ecology. 37(2): 301-317. [50443]
  • 74. Lauver, Chris L.; Kindscher, Kelly; Faber-Langendoen, Don; Schneider, Rick. 1999. A classification of the natural vegetation of Kansas. The Southwestern Naturalist. 44(4): 421-443. [38847]
  • 76. Lloyd, D.; Angove, K.; Hope, G.; Thompson, C. 1990. A guide to site identification and interpretation for the Kamloops Forest Region. Part 1. Land Management Handbook No. 23. Victoria, BC: British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Research Branch. 191 p. [37061]
  • 78. Manning, Mary E.; Padgett, Wayne G. 1995. Riparian community type classification for Humboldt and Toiyabe National Forests, Nevada and eastern California. R4-Ecol-95-01. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Region. 306 p. [42196]
  • 84. Medina, Alvin L. 1986. Riparian plant communities of the Fort Bayard watershed in southwestern New Mexico. The Southwestern Naturalist. 31(3): 345-359. [1629]
  • 88. Moir, William H. 1969. Steppe communities in the foothills of the Colorado Front Range and their relative productivities. The American Midland Naturalist. 81(2): 331-340. [11152]
  • 92. Pase, Charles E.; Thilenius, John F. 1968. Composition, production, and site factors of some grasslands in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Res. Note RM-103. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 8 p. [5744]
  • 94. Pearson, G. A. 1931. Forest types in the Southwest as determined by climate and soil. Tech. Bull. 247. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 144 p. [3498]
  • 103. Redmann, Robert E. 1975. Production ecology of grassland plant communities in western North Dakota. Ecological Monographs. 45: 83-106. [4601]
  • 113. Stevens, Lawrence E.; Schmidt, John C.; Ayers, Tina J.; Brown, Bryan T. 1995. Flow regulation, geomorphology, and Colorado River marsh development in the Grand Canyon, Arizona. Ecological Applications. 5(4): 1025-1039. [48984]
  • 115. Stoddart, L. A. 1941. The palouse grassland association in northern Utah. Ecology. 22(2): 158-163. [2258]
  • 122. Vujnovic, K.; Bentz, J. 2001. Preliminary classification of native wheat grass (Agropyron spp.) community types in Alberta. Edmonton, AB: Alberta Environment, Natural Heritage Centre. 362 p. Unpublished report on file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [43372]
  • 124. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 126. Whitman, Warren C. 1979. Analysis of grassland vegetation on selected key areas in southwestern North Dakota. Final Report on Contract No. 7-01-2. Bismark, ND: Regional Environmental Assessment Program. 199 p. [12529]
  • 98. Pinkava, Donald J.; Baker, Marc A.; Johnson, Robert A.; [and others]. 1992. Additions, notes and chromosome numbers for the flora of vascular plants of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science. 24-25: 13-18. [18256]
  • 125. West, Neil E.; Madany, Michael H. 1981. Fire history of the Horse Pasture Plateau, Zion National Park. Final report: Contract No. CX-1200-9-BO48; U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. [Submitted to Utah State University]. 221 p. On file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [16796]

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Habitat: Rangeland Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following Rangeland Cover Types (as classified by the Society for Range Management, SRM):

More info for the terms: cover, shrub

SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES [111]:

101 Bluebunch wheatgrass

107 Western juniper/big sagebrush/bluebunch wheatgrass

109 Ponderosa pine shrubland

110 Ponderosa pine-grassland

301 Bluebunch wheatgrass-blue grama

303 Bluebunch wheatgrass-western wheatgrass

310 Needle-and-thread-blue grama

314 Big sagebrush-bluebunch wheatgrass

315 Big sagebrush-Idaho fescue

402 Mountain big sagebrush

408 Other sagebrush types

412 Juniper-pinyon woodland

414 Salt desert shrub

504 Juniper-pinyon pine woodland

507 Palo verde-cactus

608 Wheatgrass-grama-needlegrass

609 Wheatgrass-grama

610 Wheatgrass

706 Blue grama-sideoats grama

721 Sand bluestem-little bluestem (plains)
  • 111. Shiflet, Thomas N., ed. 1994. Rangeland cover types of the United States. Denver, CO: Society for Range Management. 152 p. [23362]

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Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

More info for the term: cover

SAF COVER TYPES [34]:



237 Interior ponderosa pine

238 Western juniper

239 Pinyon-juniper

243 Sierra Nevada mixed conifer

245 Pacific ponderosa pine
  • 34. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905]

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Habitat: Plant Associations

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

KUCHLER [67] PLANT ASSOCIATIONS:

K011 Western ponderosa forest

K016 Eastern ponderosa forest

K018 Pine-Douglas-fir forest

K019 Arizona pine forest

K023 Juniper-pinyon woodland

K024 Juniper steppe woodland

K038 Great Basin sagebrush

K046 Desert: vegetation largely lacking

K055 Sagebrush steppe

K056 Wheatgrass-needlegrass shrubsteppe

K067 Wheatgrass-bluestem-needlegrass
  • 67. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. United States [Potential natural vegetation of the conterminous United States]. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 1:3,168,000; colored. [3455]

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Habitat: Ecosystem

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

ECOSYSTEMS [40]:

FRES21 Ponderosa pine

FRES23 Fir-spruce

FRES29 Sagebrush

FRES30 Desert shrub

FRES35 Pinyon-juniper

FRES36 Mountain grasslands

FRES38 Plains grasslands

FRES39 Prairie
  • 40. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; Lewis, Mont E.; Smith, Dixie R. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998]

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Comments: A. dracunculus occurs to elevations of 3700m in dry open habitats, including prairies, rocky slopes, and roadsides (Cronquist et al. 1972, Hulten 1968). Habitat descriptions for this species frequently appear to be vague; the reason for this may be its frequent occurrence in a high number of community types. In Utah, ten community types are described for this species, including rabbitbrush shrublands, pinyon-juniper woodlands, and spruce-fir forests (Welsh et al. 1993). It is considered to be somewhat weedy in Colorado (Weber and Wittmann 1996a). It is described in Arizona from open coniferous forests and chaparral, from 3500-9000 feet (Kearney and Peebles 1951, Arizona Heritage Data Management System).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

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This species is collected for feeding to sheep in Ladakh and Tibet during winter. Cultivated in Europe for leaves which are used for seasoning salads and cooked dishes.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Dispersal

Establishment

Tarragon is drought tolerant species. Tarragon grows best in well-drained fertile soil and in full sunlight. Division can achieve propagation. Tarragon also produces numerous wind-dispersed achenes in the fall. Each individual plant should be lifted and divided in early spring every two years. The divisions should be planted 24 inches apart and the roots should be place 2-3 inches deep.

Public Domain

USDA, NRCS, National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Comments: Tens of thousands of populations are extant rangewide, with large areas of Nevada, Wyoming, British Columbia, Nebraska, and Arizona reportedly occupied by this species. Wyoming: >100; British Columbia: common; Manitoba: 21-100; Ontario: one, presumed at the eastern edge of its native range, though possibly adventive because it is near a railroad track; Nevada: very widespread, both geographically and in elevation; Kansas: 50-75, overlooked and underrepresented in herbaria; Illinois: two; Nebraska: common; California: common; Colorado: "frequent and often weedy" (Weber and Wittmann 1996a, Weber and Wittmann 1996b).; Missouri: 5 historical occurrences ssp. glauca; Arizona: occurs through much of the state (Kearney and Peebles 1951); Idaho: extremely common, in some places with weedy tendencies; New York: considered a rare introduction (Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centres).

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General Ecology

Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: cover, frequency, interference, natural, prescribed burn

Tarragon has been observed before and after 2 prescribed burns and 1 natural
fire [28,37,68]. Four years after a prescribed summer burn in western North
Dakota, the frequency of tarragon was nearly 3 times that found in an adjacent
unburned area. It was speculated that the increase was due to a reduction in interference
of other species following the fire and the species' ability to inhabit disturbed sandy soils and
roadsides [28].

On Hightower Mountain in western Colorado, tarragon experienced a 90%
reduction in population 2 years following a prescribed burn. Composition of the
population dropped from 0.11% to 0.01% [68]. In
Los Alamos, New Mexico, tarragon constituted 0.14% actual cover and 0.30%
relative cover in an area that had burned in 1960. After the 1977 La Mesa fire,
studies conducted to determine long-term vegetative impacts found no tarragon 1,
8, or 16 years after the fire [37].
  • 28. Dix, Ralph L. 1960. The effects of burning on the mulch structure and species composition of grasslands in western North Dakota. Ecology. 41(1): 49-56. [808]
  • 37. Foxx, Teralene S. 1996. Vegetation succession after the La Mesa Fire at Bandelier National Monument. In: Allen, Craig D., ed. Fire effects in southwestern forests: Proceedings, 2nd La Mesa fire symposium; 1994 March 29-31; Los Alamos, NM. RM-GTR-286. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 47-69. [27283]
  • 68. Kufeld, Roland C.; Stewart, Larry. 1975. Experimental improvement of oakbrush on deer, elk and cattle ranges - Hightower Mountain. Project No. W-101-R-17: Game Range Investigations. Work Plan No. 4: Job No. 3. Job Progress Report: April 1, 1974 through March 31, 1975. Denver, CO: Colorado Department of Fish and Game: 25-92. [16427]

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Plant Response to Fire

Current literature suggests that the response of tarragon to fire is variable [28,37,68]. It is likely that tarragon sprouts from rhizomes after being top-killed by fire.
  • 28. Dix, Ralph L. 1960. The effects of burning on the mulch structure and species composition of grasslands in western North Dakota. Ecology. 41(1): 49-56. [808]
  • 37. Foxx, Teralene S. 1996. Vegetation succession after the La Mesa Fire at Bandelier National Monument. In: Allen, Craig D., ed. Fire effects in southwestern forests: Proceedings, 2nd La Mesa fire symposium; 1994 March 29-31; Los Alamos, NM. RM-GTR-286. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 47-69. [27283]
  • 68. Kufeld, Roland C.; Stewart, Larry. 1975. Experimental improvement of oakbrush on deer, elk and cattle ranges - Hightower Mountain. Project No. W-101-R-17: Game Range Investigations. Work Plan No. 4: Job No. 3. Job Progress Report: April 1, 1974 through March 31, 1975. Denver, CO: Colorado Department of Fish and Game: 25-92. [16427]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

The immediate effect of fire on tarragon is not documented. Fire likely top-kills tarragon.

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: geophyte, rhizome, shrub

POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY [114]:
Rhizomatous shrub, rhizome in soil
Geophyte, growing points deep in soil
  • 114. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. FEIS postfire regeneration workshop--April 12: Seral origin of species comprising secondary plant succession in Northern Rocky Mountain forests. 10 p. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [20090]

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Fire Ecology

More info for the term: shrub

Fire adaptations: There is no information in the literature regarding fire adaptations of tarragon. It is likely that rhizomes located underground survive fire and sprout. Tarragon has been observed following prescribed burns [28,68]. It is unclear how seeds are affected by fire or if postfire seedling establishment is common in tarragon. Further research is needed on fire adaptations of tarragon.

FIRE REGIMES: Tarragon is present in a variety of community types with a wide range of FIRE REGIMES associated with them. In ponderosa pine ecosystem types, understory fires occur at intervals of 2 to 10 years and mixed-severity fires occur from less than 35- to 200-year intervals. In pinyon-juniper ecosystems, tarragon experiences fire return intervals of less than 35 years [93].

The following table provides fire return intervals for plant communities and ecosystems where tarragon is important. For further information, see the FEIS review of the dominant species listed below.

Community or Ecosystem Dominant Species Fire Return Interval Range (years)
bluestem prairie Andropogon gerardii var. gerardii-Schizachyrium scoparium 66,93]
Nebraska sandhills prairie Andropogon gerardii var. paucipilus-Schizachyrium scoparium <10
sagebrush steppe Artemisia tridentata/Pseudoroegneria spicata 20-70 [93]
basin big sagebrush Artemisia tridentata var. tridentata 12-43 [107]
mountain big sagebrush Artemisia tridentata var. vaseyana 15-40 [5,17,85]
plains grasslands Bouteloua spp. 93,129]
blue grama-needle-and-thread grass-western wheatgrass Bouteloua gracilis-Hesperostipa comata-Pascopyrum smithii 93,105,129]
paloverde-cactus shrub Parkinsonia microphylla/Opuntia spp. 93]
wheatgrass plains grasslands Pascopyrum smithii <5-47+ [93,101,129]
pinyon-juniper Pinus-Juniperus spp. <35 [93]
Pacific ponderosa pine* Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa 1-47 [4]
interior ponderosa pine* Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum 2-30 [4,6,75]
mountain grasslands Pseudoroegneria spicata 3-40 (µ=10) [3,4]
little bluestem-grama prairie Schizachyrium scoparium-Bouteloua spp. <35 [93]
*fire return interval varies widely; trends in variation are noted in the species review
  • 6. Baisan, Christopher H.; Swetnam, Thomas W. 1990. Fire history on a desert mountain range: Rincon Mountain Wilderness, Arizona, U.S.A. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 20: 1559-1569. [14986]
  • 4. Arno, Stephen F. 2000. Fire in western forest ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 97-120. [36984]
  • 5. Arno, Stephen F.; Gruell, George E. 1983. Fire history at the forest-grassland ecotone in southwestern Montana. Journal of Range Management. 36(3): 332-336. [342]
  • 3. Arno, Stephen F. 1980. Forest fire history in the Northern Rockies. Journal of Forestry. 78(8): 460-465. [11990]
  • 17. Burkhardt, Wayne J.; Tisdale, E. W. 1976. Causes of juniper invasion in southwestern Idaho. Ecology. 57: 472-484. [565]
  • 28. Dix, Ralph L. 1960. The effects of burning on the mulch structure and species composition of grasslands in western North Dakota. Ecology. 41(1): 49-56. [808]
  • 68. Kufeld, Roland C.; Stewart, Larry. 1975. Experimental improvement of oakbrush on deer, elk and cattle ranges - Hightower Mountain. Project No. W-101-R-17: Game Range Investigations. Work Plan No. 4: Job No. 3. Job Progress Report: April 1, 1974 through March 31, 1975. Denver, CO: Colorado Department of Fish and Game: 25-92. [16427]
  • 75. Laven, R. D.; Omi, P. N.; Wyant, J. G.; Pinkerton, A. S. 1980. Interpretation of fire scar data from a ponderosa pine ecosystem in the central Rocky Mountains, Colorado. In: Stokes, Marvin A.; Dieterich, John H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the fire history workshop; 1980 October 20-24; Tucson, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-81. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 46-49. [7183]
  • 85. Miller, Richard F.; Rose, Jeffery A. 1995. Historic expansion of Juniperus occidentalis (western juniper) in southeastern Oregon. The Great Basin Naturalist. 55(1): 37-45. [26637]
  • 101. Quinnild, Clayton L.; Cosby, Hugh E. 1958. Relicts of climax vegetation on two mesas in western North Dakota. Ecology. 39(1): 29-32. [1925]
  • 105. Rowe, J. S. 1969. Lightning fires in Saskatchewan grassland. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 83: 317-324. [6266]
  • 107. Sapsis, David B. 1990. Ecological effects of spring and fall prescribed burning on basin big sagebrush/Idaho fescue--bluebunch wheatgrass communities. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University. 105 p. Thesis. [16579]
  • 129. Wright, Henry A.; Bailey, Arthur W. 1982. Fire ecology: United States and southern Canada. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 501 p. [2620]
  • 93. Paysen, Timothy E.; Ansley, R. James; Brown, James K.; [and others]. 2000. Fire in western shrubland, woodland, and grassland ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-volume 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 121-159. [36978]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: climax, cover, density, frequency, xeric

Tarragon grows in the pine-oak (Pinus-Quercus spp.) woodlands on shaded slopes of the Rincon Mountains in Arizona [10]. In Utah, tarragon is recognized as a weedy plant species due to its ability to colonize disturbed sites [96]. In southeastern North Dakota, tarragon is considered a pioneer, transitional, and climax species with greatest frequency and cover as a climax species and the least as a pioneer species [16].

On a subalpine Earth flow that occurred in Colorado around 1923, tarragon was characteristic of both flow and slump areas during the 7-year period in which vegetation studies were being conducted (1947-1954, with the exception of 1953). It occupied both areas of disturbance with equal density and was important in both floodplain and xeric site revegetation [73].

  • 10. Bowers, Janice E.; McLaughlin, Steven P. 1987. Flora and vegetation of the Rincon Mountains, Pima County, Arizona. Desert Plants. 8(2): 50-94. [495]
  • 16. Burgess, Robert L. 1965. A study of plant succession in the sandhills of southeastern North Dakota. In: 57th annual proceedings of the North Dakota Academy of Science; 1965 May 7-8; Grand Forks, ND. Fargo, ND: North Dakota State University of Agriculture and Applied Science: 62-80. [4471]
  • 73. Langenheim, Jean H. 1956. Plant succession on a subalpine earthflow in Colorado. Ecology. 37(2): 301-317. [50443]
  • 96. Pendleton, R. I.; Smith, B. N. 1983. Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae of weedy and colonizer plant species at disturbed sites in Utah. Oecologia. 59: 296-301. [44055]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the term: rhizome

Tarragon reproduces both sexually and vegetatively [27]. Vegetative reproduction is from rhizomes [116,123].

Breeding system: Population outcrossing has been documented for sagebrush species [80].

Pollination: Sagebrush species are wind and self-pollinated [80], with insect-assisted pollination likely [120].

Seed production: When grown for culinary or medicinal purposes, it is reported that tarragon rarely produces seed [112]. When grown hydroponically, tarragon was reported to produce no seed at all [1].

Seed dispersal: Artemisia species are not able to disperse seeds far from the mother plant [120].

Seed banking: No information is available on this topic.

Germination: Commercially grown tarragon requires 10 to 14 days to germinate. Germination is dependant upon soil characteristics and weather conditions [131].

Seedling establishment/growth: No information is available on this topic.

Asexual regeneration: Tarragon regeneration is most commonly a result of rhizome sprouts [116,123].

  • 27. Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p. [806]
  • 80. McArthur, E. Durant. 1994. Ecology, distribution, and values of sagebrush within the Intermountain Region. In: Monsen, Stephen B.; Kitchen, Stanley G., compilers. Proceedings--ecology and management of annual rangelands; 1992 May 18-22; Boise, ID. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-313. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 347-351. [24308]
  • 112. Simon, James E.; Chadwick, Alena F.; Craker, Lyle E. 1984. Herbs: An indexed bibliography: 1971-1980. The scientific literature on selected herbs, and aromatic and medicinal plants of the temperate zone. Hamden, CT: Archon Books. 770 p. [53848]
  • 116. Stubbendieck, James; Coffin, Mitchell J.; Landholt, L. M. 2003. Weeds of the Great Plains. 3rd ed. Lincoln, NE: Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry. 605 p. In cooperation with: University of Nebraska - Lincoln. [50776]
  • 120. Valles, Joan; McArthur, E. Durant. 2001. Artemisia systematics and phylogeny: cytogenetic and molecular insights. In: McArthur, E. Durant; Fairbanks, Daniel J., compilers. Shrubland ecosystem genetics and biodiversity: proceedings; 2000 June 13-15; Provo, UT. Proc. RMRS-P-21. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 67-74. [41956]
  • 123. Weber, William A.; Wittmann, Ronald C. 1996. Colorado flora: eastern slope. 2nd ed. Niwot, CO: University Press of Colorado. 524 p. [27572]
  • 1. Agro Dynamics. 2005. Hydroponic herb growing instruction: Tarragon - perennial, [Online]. In: Hydroponics 101. Grodan Inc. (Producer). Available: http://www.hydroponics 101.com/sw47715.asp [2005, July 27]. [53841]
  • 131. Yankee Gardener. 2005. Tarragon seed, [Online]. In: Index of quality Hart Seeds including heirlooms. Hamden, CT: Yankee Harvest, LLC. (Producer). Available: http:www.yankeegardener.com/seeds/hartseed13.html [2005, July 25]. [54090]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: geophyte

RAUNKIAER [102] LIFE FORM:
Geophyte
  • 102. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843]

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Life Form

More info for the terms: forb, shrub

Shrub-forb

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Fire Management Considerations

Additional information on the response of tarragon to fire is necessary before management considerations are proposed.

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

Flowering dates of tarragon are July to October [127].
  • 127. Wiggins, Ira L. 1980. Flora of Baja California. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1025 p. [21993]

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Flower/Fruit

Fl. Per.: July-September.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Artemisia dracunculus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Artemisia dracunculus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 8
Specimens with Barcodes: 8
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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Tarragon was historically found in Missouri and there are some expectations that it may still exist there [86]. It is facing the likelihood of extinction in Wisconsin due to its rarity, but remains secure at a global level [128]. Tarragon is listed as endangered in Illinois [65]
  • 65. Kartesz, John T.; Meacham, Christopher A. 1999. Synthesis of the North American flora (Windows Version 1.0), [CD-ROM]. Available: North Carolina Botanical Garden. In cooperation with the Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [2001, January 16]. [36715]
  • 86. Missouri Department of Conservation. 2005. Missouri species and communities of conservation concern, [Online]. In: Endangered species. Columbia, MO: Missouri Department of Conservation (Producer). Available: http://www.mdc.mo.gov/documents/nathis/endangered/checklist.pdf [2005, July 25]. [53847]
  • 128. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 2004. Natural Heritage Inventory working list: rare vascular plants, [Online]. Available: http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/er/working_list/taxalists/plants.htm [2005, May 25]. [43646]

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: This species is quite widely distributed and very common, at least in portions of its range. It is described as weedy (Weber and Wittmann 1996a, Weber and Wittmann 1996b) and appears to have been introduced in parts of its range. The current level of harvest of this species for spices and for medicinal purposes does not seem to be compromising any populations.

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Status

Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status (e.g. threatened or endangered species, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values). It is endangered in Illinois as of 2006.

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Global Short Term Trend: Increase of 10 to >25%

Comments: Many sources suggest that this species is introduced in parts of its range (Hulten 1968, USDA-NRCS 1999, Gleason and Cronquist 1963, Swink and Wilhelm 1994), and this indicates that the extent of A. dracunculus's distribution may be increasing naturally as well as through human actions. Furthermore, the possibility that A. dracunculus is weedy (Weber and Wittmann 1996a, Weber and Wittmann 1996b) raises the possibility that it may even be favored by the conditions now present and developing across much of the landscape.

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Threats

Comments: There are no reports from botanists that there is evidence of plant collecting or any obvious impacts on the species due to this practice. However, given the ubiquity of this species, and the multitude of uses that this plant serves, it is certainly being collected to at least a small extent. Robyn Klein (pers. comm.) states that this and other species of Artemisia are collected for medicinal uses and to make smudge bundles, but that it is unlikely that it is in danger of overharvesting.

In Manitoba, Native Americans may collect this species as they do other Artemisia spp. for cultural/medicinal use. Collection of Artemisia species has been observed in and around reserves (Manitoba Conservation Data Centre).

It is listed as "an herb that can be commonly gathered" (Frontier Co-op 2000). It is collected by hand, which is laborious. Other species, such as A. tridentata and A. ludoviciana, are more commonly collected than this species (Robyn Klein pers. comm.).

An individual from the U.S. herbal medicinal industry states that this plant receives minor usage outside its use as a spice (French tarragon), for which it is cultivated and imported (McGuffin pers. comm.).

In North America, towards the eastern edges of its range, many of the habitats which may have supported this species have been destroyed over the last 200 years for agriculture, urban or suburban development, and materials mining. Also along this eastern zone, it is possible that habitat degradation is a significant threat to remaining populations; natural communities in this region are often greatly dissected by agriculture and development, and subsequent alterations in landscape processes are altering many habitats. In contrast, threats to the habitat of this species towards the interior of its range (the Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, Great Basin, etc.) may be merely sporadic at this time. In Manitoba, threats are grazing, mowing, and tillage (Manitoba Conservation Data Centre). Current rates of wild harvest of this species do not appear to be having a noticeable impact, but renewed interest in this species as a medicinal herb is likely to result in increased wild harvest in the future (Edward Fletcher pers. comm.).

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Pests and potential problems

Tarragon may suffer from root rot or mildew if not planted in well-drained soil.

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Management

Management considerations

More info for the terms: density, presence

Extracts derived from leaf material of tarragon displayed various effects on the
germination of 18 species. Growth was inhibited in field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense),
lacy tansyaster (Haplopappus spinulosus), and largebracted plantain (Plantago patagonica) while
growth in needle-and-thread grass was enhanced [59]. Treatments of a 2,4-D,
diesel oil mixture applied to control little spikemoss (Selaginella
densa) on rangeland resulted in a 90%-95%
reduction in tarragon density [106].

In western Colorado, the effects of spraying, burning, and chaining were
evaluated for their effectiveness in increasing forage for deer, elk,
and cattle. Although none of the treatments were significantly different
(P<0.05) with effect to tarragon production, spraying reduced percent composition from
0.46%-0.01%, burning from 0.11%-0.01%, and chaining increased percent composition
from 0.00%-0.01% [68].
Tarragon is one species of sagebrush which is fed upon in small amounts by
the sagebrush grasshopper (Melanoplus bowditchi) [97]. In
semiarid mountain ecosystems, the presence of ant mounds was positively correlated (p less than 0.01)
to the occurrence of tarragon within a 3m radius of the mound [18].
Volatile oils found in tarragon can cause skin irritation in livestock [116,117].
  • 18. Carlson, Stan R.; Whitford, Walter G. 1991. Ant mound influence on vegetation and soils in a semiarid mountain ecosystem. The American Midland Naturalist. 126(1): 125-139. [50251]
  • 68. Kufeld, Roland C.; Stewart, Larry. 1975. Experimental improvement of oakbrush on deer, elk and cattle ranges - Hightower Mountain. Project No. W-101-R-17: Game Range Investigations. Work Plan No. 4: Job No. 3. Job Progress Report: April 1, 1974 through March 31, 1975. Denver, CO: Colorado Department of Fish and Game: 25-92. [16427]
  • 116. Stubbendieck, James; Coffin, Mitchell J.; Landholt, L. M. 2003. Weeds of the Great Plains. 3rd ed. Lincoln, NE: Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry. 605 p. In cooperation with: University of Nebraska - Lincoln. [50776]
  • 59. Hoffman, G. R.; Hazlett, D. L. 1977. Effects of aqueous Artemisia extracts and volatile substances on germination of selected species. Journal of Range Management. 30(2): 134-137. [23850]
  • 117. Stubbendieck, James; Nichols, James T.; Butterfield, Charles H. 1989. Nebraska range and pasture forbs and shrubs (including succulent plants). Extension Circular 89-118. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska, Nebraska Cooperative Extension. 153 p. [10168]
  • 97. Pfadt, R. E. 1994. Species fact sheet--Sagebrush grasshopper (Melanoplus bowditchi Scudder). In: Field guide to common western grasshoppers. Bulletin 912. Laramie, WY: University of Wyoming, Agricultural Experiment Station. Available: http://www.sdvc.uwyo.edu/grasshopper/fieldgde.htm [2002, October 1]. [42042]
  • 106. Ryerson, D. E.; Taylor, J. E.; Baker, L. O.; [and others]. 1970. Clubmoss on Montana rangelands: Distribution, control, range relationships. Bulletin 645. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University, Montana Agricultural Experiment Station. 116 p. [10855]

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These species are introduced in Switzerland.
  • Aeschimann, D. & C. Heitz. 2005. Synonymie-Index der Schweizer Flora und der angrenzenden Gebiete (SISF). 2te Auflage. Documenta Floristicae Helvetiae N° 2. Genève.   http://www.crsf.ch/ External link.
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Biological Research Needs: A conservation strategy for A. dracunculus in North America could entail higher protection towards the population peripheries (as interior populations may be more secure because they are less community type-associated and more numerous). If this is the case it will be important to delineate the original natural extent of this species in the rough vicinities of the northern Canada and Alaska, the tallgrass prairie region states, and the eastern states. Levels of collection in the wild by the medicinal herb industry should be monitored. Locations of the sources of plant material should be documented for this species, and populations should be monitored to assess the sustainability of collection.

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Control

Please contact your local agricultural extension specialist or county weed specialist to learn what works best in your area and how to use it safely. Always read label and safety instructions for each control method. Trade names and control measures appear in this document only to provide specific information. USDA, NRCS does not guarantee or warranty the products and control methods named, and other products may be equally effective.

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Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)

These materials are readily available from commercial plant sources.

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Weediness

This plant may become weedy or invasive in some regions or habitats and may displace desirable vegetation if not properly managed. Please consult with your local NRCS Field Office, Cooperative Extension Service office, or state natural resource or agriculture department regarding its status and use. Weed information is also available from the PLANTS Web site.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Uses: FOOD, MEDICINE/DRUG, LANDSCAPING, OTHER USES/PRODUCTS

Production Methods: Wild-harvested

Comments: Robyn Klein (pers. comm.) states that this and other species of Artemisia are collected for medicinal uses and to make smudge bundles, but that it is unlikely that it is in danger of overharvesting. The medicinal applications of this plant are numerous and are similar to many other species of Artemisia. It is reportedly an antibacterial used to treat staph and strep infections, an anti malarial, and an immune booster. Its properties are reportedly bitter, acrid, and warm, with activity principally on the spleen, liver, and kidneys (Frontier Co-op 2000). However, the previous reference also lists Artemisia species as "cold substances" that "reduce inflammation in the body and tend to sedating in nature." Its action is classified here as "descending," which "facilitates downward circulation." As such the genus Artemisia is listed as an anti-tussive, diuretic, emmenagogue, laxative, purifier, and sedative. It is also reported to be effective against internal parasites (Frontier Co-op 2000).

Prices for this species were found as follows:

Squaw Valley, California, nursery, internet: $3.25/potted plant

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Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

More info for the terms: reclamation, shrub


Tarragon is difficult to root [1] and does not establish well from seed. In southeastern Montana, tarragon was examined for future land reclamation possibilities on sites disturbed by coal mines. Hand-stripping the seed was necessary and optimum germination was obtained from 12 month old seed exposed to 68 ºF (20 ºC) temperatures without light or by alternating light with 68 ºF to 77 ºF (20º-25 ºC) temperatures. This study determined that there was no optimal planting time[33].

In western North Dakota, tarragon made up 28% of the species found in unbrowsed plains grasslands bordering active mining sites, indicating a potential source for seed when reclaiming surface mine sites [63]. It has been suggested that tarragon also be investigated for its ability to regenerate salt desert shrub ranges [99].

  • 63. Iverson, Louis R.; Wali, Mohan K. 1982. Buried, viable seeds and their relation to revegetation after surface mining. Journal of Range Management. 35(5): 648-652. [23855]
  • 1. Agro Dynamics. 2005. Hydroponic herb growing instruction: Tarragon - perennial, [Online]. In: Hydroponics 101. Grodan Inc. (Producer). Available: http://www.hydroponics 101.com/sw47715.asp [2005, July 27]. [53841]
  • 33. Eddleman, Lee E. 1978. Survey of viability of indigenous grasses, forbs and shrubs: techniques for initial acquisition and treatment for propagation in preparation for future land reclamation in the Fort Union Basin. RLO-2232-T2-3: Annual Progress Report--June 1, 1977 to May 31, 1978. [Prepared for U.S. Energy and Development Contract No. EY-76-S-06-2232, Task Agreement #2]. 232 p. On file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [5639]
  • 99. Plummer, Perry A. 1966. Experience in improving salt desert shrub range by artificial planting. In: Salt desert shrub symposium: Proceedings; 1966 August 1-4; Cedar City, UT. [Place of publication unknown]: [Publisher unknown]: 130-146. On file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [37241]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the term: cover

Tarragon provides forage for elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, sharp-tailed grouse, and livestock [11,35,51,69,109,116,117,130]. Observations in the Flat Top Ridge Community of North Dakota suggest that tarragon is an important species for bighorn sheep [35]. For Rocky Mountain mule deer, amounts consumed in the summer constitute less than 1% of their diet with minimal amounts also being consumed during the winter and spring months [69]. Tarragon accounts for 6% of plants browsed by pronghorn and 1% for elk and mule deer in Wind Cave National Park of northwestern South Dakota [130]. In southwestern Utah tarragon is listed as intermediate in terms of its desirability as forage for domestic sheep [11].

Tarragon is listed as a warm season, native perennial range plant in Montana [70] and increases with browsing pressure in western North Dakota [103].

Palatability/nutritional value: Reports on the palatability of tarragon vary by region, habitat type, and foraging species. In west-central Montana, bighorn sheep, elk, white-tailed deer, and mule deer browse on tarragon associated with bunchgrass communities; steep, rocky, wind blown slopes; and a 40- to 50-year-old burn [109]. A study conducted in eastern Washington found tarragon fair to poor in palatability while finding that populations of tarragon increase as a response to browsing [110]. In Wyoming, tarragon provides important forage for pronghorn during winter months and during spring and summer green-up [51] while providing seeds for sharp-tailed grouse in western states [116,117].

Tarragon in the northern Great Plains was rated 30% in palatability for cattle. It is aromatic but not bitter and does not do well under heavy browsing pressure [108]. Elsewhere in the Great Plains, tarragon is considered to have little value as forage [64] and in Nebraska is not browsed by cattle in June or July [21]. In Trans-Pecos Texas, it is considered good forage for cattle and wildlife [100].

Tarragon provides valuable forage for domestic sheep but has little value for cattle in western states [116,117]. Dittberner and Olson [27] report the palatability and nutritional value of tarragon for wildlife and domestic livestock in several western states as follows:

  Colorado North Dakota Utah Montana Wyoming
Cattle Poor Poor Fair Poor Poor
Domestic sheep Fair Fair Good Fair Fair
Horses Poor Poor Poor Poor Poor
Pronghorn ---- Poor Fair Poor ----
Elk Poor ---- Fair Poor ----
Mule deer Poor Poor Good Poor ----
Small mammals ---- ---- Fair ---- ----
Small nongame birds ---- ---- Fair ---- ----
Upland nongame birds ---- ---- Fair ---- ----
Waterfowl ---- ---- Poor ---- ----

Cover value: Tarragon cover for wildlife is rated as follows [27]:

  Colorado North Dakota Utah
Elk ---- ---- Poor
Mule deer ---- Fair Poor
White-tailed deer ---- Poor ----
Pronghorn ---- Fair Poor
Small mammals Fair ---- Good
Upland game birds ---- ---- Poor
Small nongame birds Poor ---- Fair
Waterfowl ---- ---- Poor
  • 27. Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p. [806]
  • 21. Cullan, Andrew P.; Reece, Patrick E.; Schacht, Walter H. 1999. Early summer grazing effects on defoliation and tiller demography of prairie sandreed. Journal of Range Management. 52(5): 447-453. [41384]
  • 51. Hepworth, Bill. 1965. Investigation of pronghorn antelope in Wyoming. In: Proceedings of the 1st annual antelope states workshop; 1965 April 14-15; Santa Fe, NM. Santa Fe, NM: New Mexico Department of Fish and Game: 1-12. [25720]
  • 64. Johnson, James R.; Nichols, James T. 1970. Plants of South Dakota grasslands: A photographic study. Bull. 566. Brookings, SD: South Dakota State University, Agricultural Experiment Station. 163 p. [18500]
  • 100. Powell, A. Michael. 1988. Trees & shrubs of Trans-Pecos Texas: Including Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks. Big Bend National Park, TX: Big Bend Natural History Association. 536 p. [6130]
  • 103. Redmann, Robert E. 1975. Production ecology of grassland plant communities in western North Dakota. Ecological Monographs. 45: 83-106. [4601]
  • 109. Schallenberger, Allen Dee. 1966. Food habits, range use and interspecific relationships of bighorn sheep in the Sun River area, west-central Montana. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 44 p. Thesis. [43977]
  • 110. Shanafelt, Bonita Joy. 2000. Effects of control measures on diffuse knapweed, plant diversity, and transitory soil seed-banks in eastern Washington. Pullman, WA: Washington State University, Department of Natural Resource Sciences. 89 p. Thesis. [38405]
  • 116. Stubbendieck, James; Coffin, Mitchell J.; Landholt, L. M. 2003. Weeds of the Great Plains. 3rd ed. Lincoln, NE: Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry. 605 p. In cooperation with: University of Nebraska - Lincoln. [50776]
  • 11. Bowns, James E.; Bagley, Calvin F. 1986. Vegetation responses to long-term sheep grazing on mountain ranges. Journal of Range Management. 39(5): 431-434. [15584]
  • 69. Kufeld, Roland C.; Wallmo, O. C.; Feddema, Charles. 1973. Foods of the Rocky Mountain mule deer. Res. Pap. RM-111. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 31 p. [1387]
  • 70. Lacey, John; Mosley, John. 2002. 250 plants for range contests in Montana. MONTGUIDE MT198402 AG 6/2002. Range E-2 (Misc.). Bozeman, MT: Montana State University, Extension Service. 4 p. [43671]
  • 108. Sarvis, J. T. 1941. Grazing investigations on the Northern Great Plains. Bull. 307. Fargo, ND: North Dakota Experiment Station. 110 p. In cooperation with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Northern Great Plains Field Station. [10853]
  • 117. Stubbendieck, James; Nichols, James T.; Butterfield, Charles H. 1989. Nebraska range and pasture forbs and shrubs (including succulent plants). Extension Circular 89-118. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska, Nebraska Cooperative Extension. 153 p. [10168]
  • 130. Wydeven, Adrian P.; Dahlgren, Robert B. 1985. Ungulate habitat relationships in Wind Cave National Park. Journal of Wildlife Management. 49(3): 805-813. [57]
  • 35. Fairaizl, Steven D. 1978. Bighorn sheep in North Dakota: population estimates, food habits and their biogeochemistry. Grand Forks, ND: University of North Dakota. 83 p. Thesis. [Project No.: W-67-R-17. Bismark, ND: North Dakota State Game and Fish Department. 51 p. + appendices]. [25841]

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Other uses and values

Tarragon leaves are cultivated for beverages and used as a cooking herb [7,24]. Native Americans constructed brooms from tight bundles of stems and utilized the leaves to treat rheumatism [116,117] and swelling [132]. Tarragon has been used as a diuretic and emmenagogue (to promote menstrual discharge) and was thought to alleviate toothaches [112]. Tarragon can also be used in lotions and as a hair rinse [121].
  • 7. Bare, Janet E. 1979. Wildflowers and weeds of Kansas. Lawrence, KS: The Regents Press of Kansas. 509 p. [3801]
  • 112. Simon, James E.; Chadwick, Alena F.; Craker, Lyle E. 1984. Herbs: An indexed bibliography: 1971-1980. The scientific literature on selected herbs, and aromatic and medicinal plants of the temperate zone. Hamden, CT: Archon Books. 770 p. [53848]
  • 116. Stubbendieck, James; Coffin, Mitchell J.; Landholt, L. M. 2003. Weeds of the Great Plains. 3rd ed. Lincoln, NE: Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry. 605 p. In cooperation with: University of Nebraska - Lincoln. [50776]
  • 24. Dale, Nancy. 1986. Flowering plants: The Santa Monica Mountains, coastal and chaparral regions of southern California. Santa Barbara, CA: Capra Press. In cooperation with: The California Native Plant Society. 239 p. [7605]
  • 117. Stubbendieck, James; Nichols, James T.; Butterfield, Charles H. 1989. Nebraska range and pasture forbs and shrubs (including succulent plants). Extension Circular 89-118. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska, Nebraska Cooperative Extension. 153 p. [10168]
  • 121. Vestal, Paul A. 1952. Ethnobotany of the Ramah Navaho. Reports of the Ramah Project: No. 4. Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archeology and Ethnology: 40(4). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University. 94 p. [37064]
  • 132. Zigmond, Maurice L. 1981. Kawaisu ethnobotany. Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah Press. 102 p. [35936]

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Uses

Ethnobotanic: Tarragon had a wide array of medicinal uses among the Chippewa. The root was used as a gynecological aid to reduce excessive flowing during the menstrual cycle and to aid in difficult labor. The leaves of tarragon were chewed for heart palpitations. The root was also used to make a bath for strengthening children and a steam for strengthening elders. The Shuswap used the plant as a gynecological aid during childbirth. The Shuswap also burned tarragon to keep away mosquitoes. The Ramah Navaho made a lotion from the plant to aid in healing cuts.

Public Domain

USDA, NRCS, National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Wikipedia

Tarragon

Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) is a species of perennial herb in the family Asteraceae. One sub-species, Artemisia dracunculus var. sativa, is cultivated for use of the leaves as an aromatic culinary herb. In some other sub-species, the characteristic aroma is largely absent. The species is polymorphic.[2] Informal names for distinguishing the variations include "French tarragon" (best for culinary use), "Russian tarragon" (typically better than wild tarragon but not as good as so-called French tarragon for culinary use), and "wild tarragon" (covers various states).

Tarragon is found natively in a number of areas of the Northern Hemisphere. It grows to 120–150 cm tall, with slender branched stems. The leaves are lanceolate, 2–8 cm long and 2–10 mm broad, glossy green, with an entire margin. The flowers are produced in small capitulae 2–4 mm diameter, each capitulum containing up to 40 yellow or greenish-yellow florets. French tarragon, however, seldom produces any flowers (or seeds).[3] Some tarragon plants produce seeds that are generally only sterile. Others produce viable seeds. Tarragon has rhizomatous roots and it readily reproduces from the rhizomes.

The name "tarragon" is believed to have been borrowed from the Persian name for tarragon which is طرخون tarkhūn.[4]

Cultivation[edit]

Dried tarragon leaves

French tarragon is the variety generally considered best for the kitchen, but is never grown from seed as the flowers are sterile; instead it is propagated by root division. It is normally purchased as a plant, and some care must be taken to ensure that true French tarragon is purchased. A perennial, it normally goes dormant in winter.[3] It likes a hot, sunny spot, without excessive watering.[3]

Russian tarragon (A. dracunculoides L.) can be grown from seed but is much weaker in flavor when compared to the French variety.[3] However, Russian tarragon is a far more hardy and vigorous plant, spreading at the roots and growing over a meter tall. This tarragon actually prefers poor soils and happily tolerates drought and neglect. It is not as strongly aromatic and flavorsome as its French cousin, but it produces many more leaves from early spring onwards that are mild and good in salads and cooked food. Russian tarragon loses what flavor it has as it ages and is widely considered useless as a culinary herb, though it is sometimes used in crafts. The young stems in early spring can be cooked as an asparagus substitute. Horticulturists recommend that Russian tarragon be grown indoors from seed and planted out in the summer. The spreading plants can be divided easily.

A better substitute for French tarragon is Spanish tarragon (Tagetes lucida), also known as Mexican mint marigold, Mexican tarragon, Texas tarragon, or winter tarragon. It is much more reminiscent of French tarragon, with a hint of anise. Although not in the same genus as the other tarragons, Spanish tarragon has a stronger flavor than Russian tarragon that does not diminish significantly with age.

Health[edit]

Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) essential oil in a clear glass vial

Tarragon has an aromatic property reminiscent of anise, due to the presence of estragole, a known carcinogen and teratogen in mice. The European Union investigation revealed that the danger of estragole is minimal even at 100–1,000 times the typical consumption seen in humans.[5] Estragole concentration in fresh tarragon leaves is about 2900 mg/kg.[6]

Uses[edit]

Culinary use[edit]

Tarragon is one of the four fines herbes of French cooking, and is particularly suitable for chicken, fish and egg dishes. Tarragon is the main flavoring component of Béarnaise sauce. Fresh, lightly bruised sprigs of tarragon are steeped in vinegar to produce tarragon vinegar.

Tarragon is used to flavor a popular carbonated soft drink in the countries of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and, by extension, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. The drink, named Tarhun (Armenian pronunciation: [tɑɾˈxun] Թարխուն), is made out of sugary tarragon concentrate and colored bright green.

In Slovenia, tarragon is used in a variation of the traditional nut roll sweet cake, called potica. In Hungary a popular kind of chicken soup is flavored with tarragon.

cis-Pellitorin, an isobutyramide eliciting a pungent taste, has been isolated from Tarragon plant.[7]

Chemistry[edit]

A. dracunculus oil contained predominantly phenylpropanoids such as methyl chavicol (16.2%) and methyl eugenol (35.8%).[8] Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis of the essential oil revealed the presence of trans-anethole (21.1%), α-trans-ocimene (20.6%), limonene (12.4%), α-pinene (5.1%), allo-ocimene (4.8%), methyl eugenol (2.2%), β-pinene (0.8%), α-terpinolene (0.5%), bornyl acetate (0.5%) and bicyclogermacrene (0.5%) as the main components.[9]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Artemisia dracunculus was described in Linnaeus's Species Plantarum 2:849. 1753. GRIN (June 20, 2008). "Artemisia dracunculus information from NPGS/GRIN". Taxonomy for Plants. 
  2. ^ Artemisia dracunculus @ MissouriBotanicalGarden.org.
  3. ^ a b c d McGee, Rose Marie Nichols; Stuckey, Maggie (2002). The Bountiful Container. Workman Publishing. 
  4. ^ Harper, Douglas. "tarragon". Online Etymology Dictionary. 
  5. ^ Surburg, Horst; Johannes Panten (2006). Common Fragrance and Flavor Materials: Preparation, Properties and Uses. Wiley-VCH. p. 233. ISBN 978-3-527-60789-1. 
  6. ^ http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ffj.1765/abstract
  7. ^ Gatfield IL, Ley JP, Foerstner J, Krammer G, Machinek A. Production of cis-pellitorin and use as a flavouring. World Patent WO2004000787 A2
  8. ^ Lopes-Lutz, D. S.; Alviano, D. S.; Alviano, C. S.; Kolodziejczyk, P. P. (May 2008). "Screening of chemical composition, antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of Artemisia essential oils". Phytochemistry 69 (8): 1732–1738. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2008.02.014. PMID 18417176. 
  9. ^ Sayyah, M.; Nadjafnia, L.; Kamalinejad, M. (October 2004). "Anticonvulsant activity and chemical composition of Artemisia dracunculus L. Essential oil". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 94 (2–3): 283–287. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2004.05.021. PMID 15325732. 
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Notes

Comments

Artemisia dracunculus is widely cultivated as a culinary herb and may be introduced in parts of its range. It is easily cultivated from rootstocks, and while establishment from seeds is rare, seedlings can be found with amenable environmental conditions. Because of its popularity as an herb, it may suffer from overcollecting. Its scarcity in Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois (J. T. Kartesz and C. A. Meacham 1999) may have been caused by overly enthusiastic collecting as well as habitat loss.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Synonyms




Artemisia dracunculoides Pursh

Artemisia dracunculus var. glauca (Pallas ex Willd.) Bess.

Artemisia dracunculus ssp. glauca (Pallas ex Willd.) Hall & Clements

Artemisia glauca Pall. [58]

Oligosporus dracunculus ssp. dracunculinus (S. Wats.) W.A. Weber

Oligosporus dracunculus ssp. glaucus (Pallas ex Willd.) A.& D. Löve [123]
  • 58. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p. [1168]
  • 123. Weber, William A.; Wittmann, Ronald C. 1996. Colorado flora: eastern slope. 2nd ed. Niwot, CO: University Press of Colorado. 524 p. [27572]

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The currently accepted scientific name for tarragon is Artemisia dracunculus
L. (Asteraceae) [9,20,26,30,31,32,41,42,58,65,72,79,87,100,124,127].
  • 41. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 42. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 58. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p. [1168]
  • 79. Martin, William C.; Hutchins, Charles R. 1981. A flora of New Mexico. Volume 2. Germany: J. Cramer. 2589 p. [37176]
  • 100. Powell, A. Michael. 1988. Trees & shrubs of Trans-Pecos Texas: Including Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks. Big Bend National Park, TX: Big Bend Natural History Association. 536 p. [6130]
  • 124. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 127. Wiggins, Ira L. 1980. Flora of Baja California. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1025 p. [21993]
  • 26. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 31. Dorn, Robert D. 1984. Vascular plants of Montana. Cheyenne, WY: Mountain West Publishing. 276 p. [819]
  • 32. Dorn, Robert D. 1988. Vascular plants of Wyoming. Cheyenne, WY: Mountain West Publishing. 340 p. [6129]
  • 72. Lackschewitz, Klaus. 1991. Vascular plants of west-central Montana--identification guidebook. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-227. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 648 p. [13798]
  • 9. Booth, W. E.; Wright, J. C. 1962 [Revised]. Flora of Montana: Part II--Dicotyledons. Bozeman, MT: Montana State College, Department of Botany and Bacteriology. 280 p. [47286]
  • 20. Cronquist, Arthur; Holmgren, Arthur H.; Holmgren, Noel H.; [and others]. 1994. Intermountain flora: Vascular plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 5. Asterales. New York: The New York Botanical Garden. 496 p. [28653]
  • 30. Dorn, Robert D. 1977. Flora of the Black Hills. [Place of publication unknown]: Robert D. Dorn and Jane L. Dorn. 377 p. [820]
  • 65. Kartesz, John T.; Meacham, Christopher A. 1999. Synthesis of the North American flora (Windows Version 1.0), [CD-ROM]. Available: North Carolina Botanical Garden. In cooperation with the Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [2001, January 16]. [36715]
  • 87. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1986. [Revised edition]. Guide to the vascular flora of Illinois. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. 507 p. [17383]

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Common Names

tarragon

green sagebrush

silky wormwood

false tarragon

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Comments: Two subspecies of A. dracunculus (glauca and dracunculus) were recognized by Kartesz (1994), but Kartesz (1999) considers them to be synonyms. A. dracunculus "apparently intergrades to a limited extent with Artemisia campestris subsp. caudata, especially in the southern Great Plains." (Great Plains Flora Association 1986)

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