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Glendale Public Library
Xeriscape Demonstration Garden Information Sheet

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Ambrosia deltoidea-Triangle Leaf Bur Sage

This low desert dweller is native to southern Arizona and south into Sonora and Baja California, Mexico and is probably the most common understory plant in the lower deserts.  Commonly found on flats and hillside at elevations of 1000 3000 feet, this plant often functions as a nurse plant to the seedlings of many native plants and is essential in most revegation efforts. 

The triangleleaf bur-sage is typically evergreen, creating a small rounded shrub to 1 feet tall by 2 feet wide.  The gray-green leaves are 1 long by wide and roughly triangular in shape.  The leaf margins are occasionally smooth but more commonly toothed. The flowers are insignificant, but are followed by small burs, which are covered with hooked spines that can be somewhat of a nuisance. 

A truly desert adapted plant, bur-sage is capable of surviving with minimal irrigation, although it will look better if provided periodic irrigation during the summer months. In most cultivated landscapes, this plant tends to be short-lived although it will reseed. As it is a cousin to the common ragweed, this plant may cause allergic reactions to some people.  

Webmaster & Author George Hull Last Updated August 10, 2003