Greater Sage Grouse & Big Sagebrush

This card is part of our Animal and Plant Companions Series, which highlights native North American animals and plants who rely on each other for food, shelter, or survival. Let’s meet the pair and learn ways that we can help ensure they’re with us for generations to come!

A photo of a Bower Studio plantable seed card featuring an illustration of an adult and a young grouse with sagebrush plants. The card is propped up against a brass container with dried flowers and corn leaves.

The Greater Sage Grouse would be lost without their plant companions, the Sagebrushes. Being obligate residents of sagebrush country, these noble birds depend on Sagebrush species for most of their meals and to shelter their nests and feed their chicks (just as we depend on our homes and farms).

a Bower Studio Seed card featuring an illustration of a grouse surrounded by sagebrush

Sage Grouse & Sagebrush Plantable Herb Card

Sagebrushes, despite their name, are in the Artemisia genus, making them more closely related to Mugwort and Wormwood than to Sage. Big Sagebrush is a favorite of the Sage Grouse, though many species live within sagebrush territory, which stretches from southern Alberta down through the Great Basin in the US.

Unfortunately both the Sagebrushes and the Sage Grouse who need them are in danger, as humans destroy their habitats for oil, gas, and residential development. Once common, these inseparable companions are becoming increasingly rare as their populations decline. Their decline is a loss to both the environment and people. The indigenous peoples of the sagebrush territory have a deep cultural history with both bird and plant. Plus grassland ecosystems are important carbon sinks and soil builders.

Learn more about the conservation and importance of the Sage Grouse and Sagebrush: Sage Grouse Initiative.

See all stories behind our Animal and Plant Companions Series here.

About the author: 

Vincent Frano is an avid student of nature. He is trained as an herbalist with over 10 years of experience in European traditions with knowledge of Ayurvedic and North American herbs. He holds a BS in Sustainable Horticulture from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he focused on herbal medicines, native plants, invasive species, and ecosystem restoration. Vincent is the co-founder of The Bower Studio and is the lead illustrator for The Bower Studio’s products.

This article is copyright 2023 The Bower Studio.

All images are under copyright and may not be used without written permission from The Bower Studio.